Charges Dismissed Against Arizona Rancher Who Shot Illegal Alien

On Tuesday, a judge in Arizona dismissed the case against rancher George Alan Kelly, who was facing murder charges after shooting an illegal alien who was crossing his property after coming across the border.

Fox News reports that the 75-year-old Kelly was accused of killing the 48-year-old illegal on January 30th, 2023, on Kelly’s 170-acre ranch outside of Nogales, Arizona. In his ruling, Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink declared that the state of Arizona “has decided not to retry this case following mistrial because another jury would not convict the defendant based upon the same evidence.”

“At best, another hung jury would result,” Judge Fink added. “Most likely, another jury would acquit.”

The case resulted in a mistrial in April due to a hung jury, at which point Santa Cruz County prosecutors declined to retry him. The jury voted 7-1 in favor of acquitting Kelly on the charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Only the lone holdout jury prevented a full acquittal and instead caused a mistrial.

Among other reasons, Judge Fink pointed out that there was an extreme lack of physical evidence in the case, including the fact that the bullet which allegedly killed the illegal was never found. There was also a lack of witnesses to either confirm or deny the truth about what happened that day.

The one and only witness was another illegal named Daniel Ramirez, who was walking alongside the deceased at the moment he was struck. Judge Fink speculated as to whether or not the witness “would even be around for another trial” due to his own illegal status, with Ramirez confessing during his testimony that he had tried and failed to cross the southern border 10 different times.

“The court finds that the State is not able to articulate a reasonable basis for holding this case ‘open’ with a dismissal without prejudice. The interests of justice are not served by the dismissal without prejudice for a case that cannot and will not be re-tried,” Judge Fink concluded. “The interests of justice are not advanced where the only thing to be accomplished by a dismissal without prejudice…is the harassment of the Defendant.”

The case had become a flashpoint in the ongoing debate over illegal immigration, with open-border advocates denouncing Kelly as a murderer, while those in favor of securing the border have hailed him as a hero who acted in self-defense.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Gravel road along the Border fence between New Mexico, USA and the northern state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

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