An Arizona cattle rancher has been charged with murder for allegedly killing a Mexican man who reportedly kept crossing the border illegally, according to reports.
George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder over fatally shooting a man identified as a Mexican citizen on Jan. 30, according to AZCentral. Kelly is being held on a $1 million bail.
The victim, 48–year-old Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, lived south of the border and was carrying a Mexican voter registration card, according to the report.
The incident unfolded outside Nogales at Kelly’s cattle ranch. Although limited details were provided, one neighbor told KOLD that Kelly has had issues with people allegedly trespassing on his property. Officials said it did not appear the two knew each other, according to the Daily Mail.
Elderly Arizona rancher charged with murdering a Mexican man on his ranch https://t.co/d4jWcJIdU8 pic.twitter.com/XPp9YI5XuO
— New York Post (@nypost) February 7, 2023
Cuen-Butimea had previously illegally crossed the border as recently as 2016, according to Daily Mail, which cited federal court records. Cuen-Butimea had repeatedly been deported, according to the report. (RELATED: Thousands Of Migrants Form Lines At US-Mexico Border Awaiting The End Of Title 42)
On the day of the incident, Border Patrol received a call from someone who identified themselves as “Allen” saying there was a “group of people running” and that the caller was “unsure if he was getting shot at as well,” according to Nogales International. Authorities responded to the scene after the call but found nothing. They responded again around 6:00 p.m., following a report of shots fired at the property, according to the report. Authorities then found Cuen-Butimea dead.
Maria Castillo, who lives nearby, told KOLD that she feels “safe living here in the area” and is used to seeing migrants crossing the border.