An elderly Arizona border rancher faces murder charges following the shooting death of a Mexican national on the rancher’s property. The alleged shooting took place around sunset on January 30.
Police say that around 6 p.m. on January 30, George Alan Kelly, 73, shot and killed 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, a Mexican national. Kelly is now in the Santa Cruz, Arizona, jail pending a $1 million bond. He is currently charged with 1st-degree murder, the sheriff’s office stated.
In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Gerardo Castillo said the shooting took place on the border ranch in an area that was not close to the residence. Police were called at 5:56 p.m. Sunset on January 30 in nearby Nogales, Arizona, was 5:57 p.m.
Chief Castillo said detectives are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the Mexican national. He did say that there is no evidence that Kelly knew Cuen-Butimea. Authorities identified the decedent with a Mexican voter registration card found on his person.
Castillo said Kelly made no statement to police and is represented by an attorney. Breitbart Texas reached out to the attorney for additional information but a return call was not received by press time.
The chief deputy for Sheriff David Hathaway told Breitbart they have no information at this time as to the decedent’s immigration status. It is not clear if he had just crossed the border onto the ranch or what reason he had for being on the ranch at the time of the shooting. No weapons belonging to the decedent were found at the scene.
The chief also could not reveal any other details about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. He added that there is normally very little violence associated with migrants crossing through the area.
One neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, told KOLD 13 News that he is friends with Kelly and that Kelly has had problems with people on his property before this incident. The neighbor added that he believes that Kelly would have acted with good faith
Kelly is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday. More information is expected to be revealed at that time. Chief Castillo said the charges could change as additional information becomes available.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.