Arizona Rancher Charged With First-Degree Murder Claims Self-Defense, Says Migrants Shot at Him First

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Arizona rancher was accused of first-degree murder in the killing of a Mexican migrant. He claims that a group shot at him first.

According to court documents, George Allen Kelly’s attorney stated that George Allen Kelly fired his gun in self-defense after hearing one shot from “a group of men moving through the trees surrounding his home” on January 30, 2003.

Brenna Larkin, the Attorney, stated that Kelly was confronted by the men at his ranch. They were dressed in camouflaged clothes and AK-47 rifles. He didn’t know any of them. She wrote that he had not granted permission for any of them to enter his land.

“Mr. Kelly fired several shots with his rifle in fear for his safety and life, trying to scare his family away from him, his wife, and his animals,” Larkin said. Kelly made sure to aim his gun well above the heads of the armed men as he fired.

Kelly discovered the unarmed body, 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen Butimea. Kelly was able to identify Cuen-Butimea using a Mexican voter card. Investigators found that the victim was suffering from a visible gunshot wound.

Kelly is being held under a $1,000,000 bond.

Rancher supporters offered to help pay for his legal defense through a GoFundMe campaign. However, the company closed the campaign because it was against its policy of not raising funds for the “legal defense of anyone formally accused of a violent crime.”

Kelly’s 100-acre ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border is surrounded by neighbors who said that the area is safe and peaceful.

Kelly’s claim of self-defense is explained in detail: