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Prosecutors have announced that they will not retry Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly in the fatal shooting of a Mexican man on his property, following a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision. Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office has decided not to seek a retrial due to unique circumstances and challenges surrounding the case. Kelly expressed relief at the end of the trial, stating that the nightmare is over, and offering his sympathy to the victim’s family. Protesters outside the courthouse called for a retrial, arguing that Cuen-Buitimea, the victim, was not a threat and deserved justice.

Kelly, a 75-year-old rancher, had been on trial for nearly a month in Nogales, Arizona, charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea. Cuen-Buitimea was shot on Kelly’s cattle ranch near the border with Mexico. Prosecutors alleged that Kelly recklessly fired nine shots from an AK-47 rifle toward a group of men, including Cuen-Buitimea, about 100 yards away. Despite Kelly’s claim that he fired warning shots in the air and did not shoot directly at anyone, the trial brought widespread attention due to its timing during a presidential election year that has focused on border security.

Following the mistrial, the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office considered retrial options but ultimately decided against pursuing a new trial. The defense attorney for Kelly, Brenna Larkin, plans to file a request for the case to be dismissed with prejudice, preventing it from being brought back to court. The victim’s family, along with Mexican consular officials, met with prosecutors to discuss the implications of the mistrial. The Mexican Consulate in Nogales, Arizona, stated that they would release a statement later regarding the case.

The trial of George Alan Kelly included a visit to his ranch and a section of the U.S.-Mexico border by jurors, in addition to presenting arguments and evidence in court. Kelly had previously rejected an agreement with prosecutors that would have reduced the charge to one count of negligent homicide in exchange for a guilty plea. The case highlighted the complexities of border security and the challenges faced by individuals living near the border. Despite the conclusion of the trial, the circumstances of the case have sparked debate and raised concerns among the public, particularly regarding the handling of the shooting incident and the pursuit of justice for the victim and his family.

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