A Mexican official said Friday that the government wants an Arizona rancher to face a more serious charge for allegedly killing a migrant who trespassed on his property.
An Arizona judge said last week that George Allen Kelly, 74, should face charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of Gabrielle Cuen-Buitimia, who died at Kelly’s ranch just outside Nogales, Arizona. were killed.
He initially faced a charge of first-degree murder.
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Vanessa Calva, Mexico’s head of consular security, told US prosecutors that the Mexican government believes Kelly should face a charge of first-degree murder. He said Kuen-Buitimia, 48, was unarmed, running and was shot in the back.
Prosecutors allege that Kelly opened fire with an AK-47 rifle on January 30 while confronting about eight unarmed migrants at his ranch, as Cuen-Buitimia tried to flee. Two migrants in the group later told officers that Kelly fired at them as well, but was not hit and fled over a fence back into Mexico.
Kelly’s attorney, Brenna Larkin, said her client fired warning shots at the migrants and feared for the safety of himself, his wife and his property. he said he sawIPeople with AK-47 rifles and backpacks pass through the property.
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According to The Associated Press, US court records show Kuen-Buitimia was convicted of illegal entry and deported back to Mexico as recently as 2016.
Kelly is free on a million dollar bond.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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