Armed Men With AKs Threatened Rancher!

An elderly Arizona rancher was charged with murder and is being held on $ 1 million bond. He allegedly fired a “warning shot” after an armed group “pointed a AK-47 straight at him,” his defense attorney said.

George Alan Kelly (73) is being charged with premeditated, first-degree murder in the Jan. 30 shooting death of Gabriel Cuen-Butimea. According to authorities, Cuen-Butimea was 48 years old. Kelly’s court-appointed attorney Brenna Larkin wrote that Kelly heard one gunshot while they were eating lunch.

According to the filing, Kelly saw his horse run away scared and that he was an old horse.

“Finally, he noticed a group moving through the trees surrounding his home. Larkin reported that they were armed with AK47 rifles, dressed up in khakis and camouflaged clothes and carrying large backpacks. He didn’t know any of them. He had not granted permission for any of them to enter his land.”

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Kelly called the U.S. Border Patrol ranch liaison because he was “understandably worried and reasonably afraid for his safety, that of his wife, and that of his animals’ safety,” Larkin wrote.

Kelly told his wife to remain inside and to keep her from looking out of windows; then he went on his porch with his rifle.

George Alan Kelly, a first-degree murder suspect, is currently being held at Santa Cruz County Jail, Nogales, Arizona on a $1 million bond. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office via AP).

Larkin wrote that the leader of the armed men’s group saw Kelly and pointed an AK-47 straight at him. “Mr. Kelly fired several shots with his rifle in fear for his safety and life, trying to scare his family, including his wife and animals. Kelly made sure to aim his gun well above the heads of the armed men as he fired. The group ran into the desert around his home. After the group fled, Kelly went to his barn to ensure it was safe.

According to the filing notes, Kelly had another conversation with the Border Patrol ranch liaison. This ended around 2:36 p.m. Kelly claimed that he heard one shot, but the liaison incorrectly reported that Kelly said he couldn’t tell if the men were armed. Larkin wrote that Kelly had reported that he did not hear any shots and that he saw no armed men. Radio dispatched to Border Patrol agents on their way to the property at 2:40 p.m. “correctly reported” that there had been armed men in the area.

Kelly was inspecting his barn when a few Border Patrol and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on the property. According to the filing, Kelly told them that he’d seen several armed men close to his home. Kelly’s wife was also contacted by Larkin, who stated that she saw large backpack-wielding armed men near her house.

According to the filing, Border Patrol agents and sheriff’s deputies searched Kelly’s property “all over” but did not find anyone. They tried to find the men using various cameras but failed. The law enforcement officers then left.

George Alan Kelly was charged with first-degree murder. (Santa Cruz County Clerk to the Court)

Kelly returned to his pastures later that day to check on his horse. He was still concerned about the horse’s injuries and went outside as the sunset. Kelly noticed that his dogs were focusing on something near a mesquite tree and he approached the area to check on his horse. Larkin wrote that Kelly “observed a corpse lying face down in grass” Kelly called the Border Patrol ranch liaison three times to report the discovery and ask for assistance.

According to Larkin, Kelly assisted law enforcement in finding the body and also cooperated with their investigation. According to Larkin, the investigation revealed that the body belonged to a male “foreign citizen” who didn’t have any firearms nor a backpack. According to the filing, the cause of death was a single gunshot injury. The body appeared fresh.

Larkin wrote that the person had a radio and was wearing tactical boots. This indicated that he might have been involved in illegal activities.

According to the defense attorney, it is not known what type of bullet caused the fatal injury, when it occurred, and how long it had been there. He also said that it was unclear what time the victim was present before receiving fatal injuries.

A U.S. Border Patrol ranch liaison rode with a rancher in Arizona near Nogales. George Kelly’s lawyer claims that he spoke to the ranch liaison multiple times on the day of the shooting, including to report the discovery and death of a body. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Kelly admitted to having fired warning shots at smugglers earlier that day, but denied firing any direct shot at anyone,” Larkin wrote. He doesn’t believe any of his warning shots could possibly have hit the person or caused death. Kelly shot all of his warning shots in self-defense on the date of the incident.

Kelly and his wife, Kelly, have lived on their property in Nogales, Arizona, for over 20 years. According to The Daily Mail, Cuen-Butimea was previously found in federal records. He had a history of illegal border crossings in Nogales and deportations. The most recent case was in 2016.

Judge Emilio Velasquez denied Kelly’s request to reduce his $1 million bond. However, Kelly claimed that his wife was alone on the ranch and could not care for their livestock. Nogales Justice Court will hold a preliminary hearing on February 22.

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Fox News Digital confirmed that GoFundMe took over all Kelly-related fundraising campaigns. A Kelly fundraiser could be kept on GiveSendGo, a Christian crowdfunding platform. As of Sunday midday, it had raised approximately $250,000.