Arizona Rancher Cleared in Shooting Incident Aftermath

Arizona Rancher Cleared in Shooting Incident Aftermath

In a stunning turn of events, Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly has been cleared of charges related to the shooting of a Mexican national last year. The 75-year-old rancher proclaimed his innocence, stating, “It’s not my fault. I didn’t do it.” Kelly’s trial for the second-degree murder of 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea ended in a hung jury, leading to prosecutors dropping the case against him.

Kelly maintained that he only fired warning shots in the air to scare away individuals trespassing on his cattle ranch along the Arizona-Mexico border. Recalling the tragic incident, Kelly claimed that Cuen-Buitimea had turned towards him and pointed an AK-47 at him, prompting Kelly to shoot over the trees to deter the intruders. Despite his version of events, prosecutors alleged that Kelly had fired nine shots with an AK-47, one of which fatally struck Cuen-Buitimea.

Expressing his frustration with the investigation, Kelly stated, “They accused me of shooting him. I don’t feel that I was treated fairly in the investigation. I think I was arrested without cause, without probable cause.” The lengthy legal battle took a toll on Kelly and his wife, leading to the depletion of their life savings.

With prosecutors announcing they will not pursue a retrial, Kelly and his wife are eager to “start life over again,” albeit acknowledging the risks of residing near the US-Mexico border. Describing his time in custody as “the worst 22 days of my life,” Kelly remains resolute, vowing not to be defeated by the challenges ahead. Despite the financial strains and lingering uncertainties, Kelly remains determined, stating, “That cloud’s still over my head. It’s a long road, and we’re not out of danger yet, but we’re not giving up. I’m not going to let them beat me down.” Kelly’s tumultuous journey serves as a stark reminder of the complexities and uncertainties individuals face within the criminal justice system.

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