75 Year Old Arizona Rancher Charged with Murder Says Migrants Pointed AK-47 at Him

George Kelly, video screenshot

Arizona: George Alan Kelly, a 75-year old man who owns a cattle ranch near the US-Mexico border, said men came towards his home and one aimed an AK-47 at him the day he was arrested for murder. Kelly said that he fired a warning shot at the man “over the tree, over the top of his head, and thank God him and the other guys ran.” Later that day, he found the body of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, an illegal alien, and called the sheriff’s department. Responding officers accused Kelly of shooting the migrant and arrested him. Prosecutors say the dead man was unarmed. The bullet that caused the fatal wound was never found and Kelly’s lawyers said that forensics and the ballistics didn’t match his gun. Kelly spent 22 days in jail and was threatened by Mexican cartel inmates. Kelly used up his life savings and spent about $2 million in personal funding and funding from a legal defense fund. The case ended in a mistrial.



Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly said men came towards his home with an AK-47 aimed at him the day he was arrested for murder.

“He turned towards me … pointed the AK at me. And that’s when — everybody says was the dumbest thing I ever did — they said you should have shot him because he was getting ready to shoot you,” Kelly told NewsNation.

Instead, he told the news outlet that he “shot over the tree, over the top of his head, and thank God him and the other guys ran.”

Later that day – Jan. 30, 2023 – he found a body and called the sheriff’s department. Responding officers accused Kelly of fatally shooting the victim, an illegal immigrant, and hauled him away in cuffs.

His murder charge became the center of an already-contentious national debate about border security raging throughout the country, especially in states bordering Mexico. 

“They accused me of shooting him,” Kelley told NewsNation in his first interview since he became a free man. “I said, ‘No, I didn’t shoot him.’ And they said, ‘Well, we think you did, and we’re arresting you for first-degree murder.’”

The 75-year-old man spent 22 days in jail, which he said was the worst experience of his life. “If hell is anything like that, I’m gonna do everything I can not to go,” Kelly said. 

Seven jurors wanted to acquit Kelly, but one “lone holdout” was unwavering in wanting to convict the elderly rancher despite the evidence and testimony, according to the rancher’s lawyer.

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Tom Ball
Tom Ball
2 months ago

The cartels have enough money to buy off dozens of politicians , law officers. judges, and anyone else they need to do business.
The accused is a white male so he’s guilty until proven innocent.

2 months ago

So much for doing the right thing.