Amend Arizona Rancher Murder Complaint with Number of Assaults

PHOENIX (AP) — A first-degree murder complaint filed against an Arizona rancher for allegedly murdering a Mexican man on his property was amended Tuesday to include two aggravated assaults against two others. Now

A filing in the Santa Cruz County Court of Justice in the border city of Nogales, Arizona, was the first to publicly mention that others may have been injured in the Jan. 30 incident. Only the initials of the other two suspected recipients were used and their nationalities were not given.

The new count comes on the eve of the preliminary hearing of rancher George Alan Kelly, who faces first-degree murder charges for the fatal shooting of Gabriel Cuen Butimea, who lived just south of the border in Nogales, Mexico. Cuen-Butimea has been convicted of illegal entry and deported to Mexico several times, most recently in 2016, according to U.S. federal court records.

Kelly, 73, is scheduled to appear in Santa Cruz County Judicial Court on Wednesday at 9:00 am (11:00 am ET).

His attorney, Brenna Larkin, says Kelly did not shoot and kill the man, but Kelly had earlier in the day stumbled upon a smuggler carrying an AK-47 rifle and backpack that he encountered on his property. He admits to firing a warning shot at the dealer.

“He does not believe that any of his warning shots could have hit a person or caused death,” Larkin said in a court filing earlier this month. All shootings committed on the day of the incident were in self-defense and justified.”

Kelly’s Ranch is located in the Kino Springs neighborhood outside of Nogales, Arizona.

The Mexican Consulate in Nogales has not publicly commented on the matter.

The shooting sparked strong political sentiment less than six months after the prison warden and his brother were arrested in the West Texas shooting. Michael Shepherd and Mark Shepherd, both in his 60s, have been charged with manslaughter in his September shooting in El Paso County.

Authorities say the twin brothers stopped their truck near the town about 25 miles (40 km) from the border and opened fire on a group of migrants who were fetching water along the road. A male migrant died and a woman suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

A GoFundMe campaign covering the cost of Kelly’s legal defense was suspended due to the seriousness of the case, and the funds were returned to the donors, the platform said in a statement last week.

“GoFundMe’s terms of service expressly prohibit campaigns that raise funds to cover the legal defense of persons duly charged with violent crimes,” it said. “In line with this long-standing policy, fundraising campaigns for the legal defense of persons charged with murder will be removed from our platform.”

GiveSendGo, which bills itself as a Christian fundraising platform, has raised money for Kelly’s legal defense in at least four campaigns, including one that has raised over $300,000 as of Tuesday.

Kelly appears to have explored herding life on the border in her self-published novel Far Beyond the Border Fence, which describes as “a modern novel that brings Mexico’s border/drug conflict into the 21st century.” ” is expressed.

The 57-page novel, written by a man of the same name, focuses on a man named George and his wife, Wanda, who is also named Kelly’s real-life wife.

“Several times a week, illegal immigrants cross the VMR ranch,” reads one. “They were led by armed human smugglers called coyotes. George and the foreman had to patrol the ranch daily armed with AK-47s.”