Posted on April 30, 2024

Prosecutors Say They Will Not Retry an Arizona Rancher Accused of Murder Near the US-Mexico Border

Anita Snow, Associated Press, April 29, 2024

Prosecutors said Monday they will not retry an Arizona rancher whose trial in the fatal shooting of a Mexican man on his property ended last week with a deadlocked jury.

The jurors in the trial of George Alan Kelly were unable to reach a unanimous decision on a verdict after more than two days of deliberation. Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink declared a mistrial on April 22.

After the mistrial, the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office had the option to retry Kelly — or to drop the case.

“Because of the unique circumstances and challenges surrounding this case, the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office has decided not to seek a retrial,” Deputy County Attorney Kimberly Hunley told Fink Monday.

Fink agreed to dismiss the case. He said a hearing would be scheduled later to determine if it would be dismissed with prejudice, which would mean it couldn’t be brought back to court.


When a reporter from the Tucson TV station KGUN asked for Kelly’s reaction outside the courthouse, he said he felt “relief.”

“The nightmare’s over,” Kelly added {snip}


Prosecutors had said Kelly recklessly fired nine shots from an AK-47 rifle toward a group of men on his cattle ranch, including Cuen-Buitimea, about 100 yards (90 meters) away. Kelly has said he fired warning shots in the air, but argued he didn’t shoot directly at anyone.