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Arizona Rancher Charged With First-Degree Murder After Shooting Mexican Migrant To Death On His Property

Arizona Rancher Charged With Murder After Shooting Mexican Migrant
Source: Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department; Zillow

Feb. 7 2023, Published 3:45 p.m. ET

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An Arizona rancher has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after fatally shooting a Mexican migrant last month, RadarOnline.com has learned.

George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested on January 30 after shooting Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, on his Kino Springs, Arizona ranch located 1.5 miles north of the United States-Mexico border.

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Arizona Rancher Charged With Murder After Shooting Mexican Migrant
Source: Zillow

According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department, Kelly and Cuen-Butimea did not know each other and Arizona authorities are still investigating the fatal shooting.

“It doesn't seem like Mr. Kelly and the victim knew each other,” Chief Deputy Gerardo Castillo said in a statement.

Arizona Rancher Charged With Murder After Shooting Mexican Migrant
Source: Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department

Chief Deputy Gerardo Castillo

Federal court records also showed that Cuen-Butimea had a history of illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and had previously been deported back to his home country numerous times – including most recently in 2016.

Even more surprising are reports that U.S. Border Patrol agents notified the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department about a “possible active shooter” just hours before Kelly shot Cuen-Butimea to death.

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According to the U.S. Border Patrol, a man who identified himself only as “Allen” claimed he was getting shot at by an unknown assailant.

The caller also reported a “group of people running” and said he was “unsure if he was getting shot at as well.”

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Arizona Rancher Charged With Murder After Shooting Mexican Migrant
Source: Mega

When Santa Cruz County Sheriff's officials arrived to the scene, they reportedly found the 48-year-old Mexican migrant’s deceased body 150 yards from Kelly’s property.

Maria Castillo, Kelly’s neighbor, confirmed the migrants traveling through the U.S.-Mexico border are often seen in the Kino Springs area – although she could not comment on Cuen-Butimea's immigration status because it has yet to be confirmed whether the migrant crossed the border illegally.

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Arizona Rancher Charged With Murder After Shooting Mexican Migrant
Source: Mega

During his last court hearing, Kelly asked the judge to reduce his $1 million bail so he could return home and be with his wife who is currently living at the Kino Spring ranch alone.

“She's there by herself [with] nobody to take care of her, the livestock or the ranch,” he said.

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“And I'm not going anywhere. I can't come up with a million dollars,” Kelly continued before asking the judge to “consider reducing [his bail] to any degree.”

Kelly’s next court date is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8 and his lawyer will reportedly be given the opportunity to request a bail reduction at that time.

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