George Alan Kelly
The illegal alien shot dead by an elderly Arizona rancher was likely a cartel drug smuggler, according to a former Border Patrol chief.
George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested for killing Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, on his Arizona ranch in Kino Springs just outside of Nogales, Mexico on January 30.
Kelly was being held at the Santa Cruz County jail on $1 million bond, but he posted bail and was released from custody on Wednesday.
According to reports, Gabriel Cuen-Butimea has a history of illegally crossing into the United States and multiple deportations.
Authorities found a Mexican voter registration card on the decedent.
According to the defense lawyers, Mr. Kelly fired warning shots after he saw a group of men dressed in camouflaged clothing point an AK-47 right at him.
George Alan Kelly was careful to shoot above their heads, the lawyers said.
The rancher later discovered the deceased man after he went to check on his horse.
A former Border Patrol chief on Friday told NewsNation that the illegal alien shot dead by George Kelly was likely a drug smuggler or a scout for the cartel based on what was found on his body.
The deceased migrant had a radio and was wearing tactical boots which led former Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott to believe he was working for the cartel as a ‘front-man.’
“Everything that I have seen, my professional experience would tell me that that guy was either a scout or an actual guide for a group,” Rodney Scott told NewsNation.
“With the radio — much more likely he was probably scouting out in advance, or the front-man if you will, but that type of activity and behavior doesn’t take place out there unless it’s part of the cartel,” he said.
George Kelly also had a reputation for firing at illegal alien smugglers on his property because his Kino Springs ranch sits on a major narcotics route.
The Arizona rancher accused of killing a migrant on his property is out on bail.#BorderPatrol sources tell @AliBradleyTV the rancher has a reputation among smugglers as someone who fires at undocumented people on his property.
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) February 24, 2023
George Kelly’s first-degree murder charge was downgraded to second-degree murder during an evidentiary hearing in court on Friday.
“That’s a significant change in the charge,” Judge Emilio Velasquez said. “Second-degree murder is, frankly, a more complicated theory of the case for both the state and the defense.”
Kelly’s attorney entered a ‘not guilty’ plea during the hearing on Friday.
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