The jury will now consider guilt or innocence for George Alan Kelly: Was Kelly guilty and evasive about shooting and killing a Mexican national crossing his ranch, or just a man confused by fear who didn’t shoot anyone?

Those are the views from prosecution and defense in final arguments in Kelly’s trial for second degree murder.


Kelly is charged with second degree murder in the death of Gabriel Cuen Buitimea who, with another man, was headed south back towards Mexico on Kelly’s ranch land, trying to avoid Border Patrol.

Kellys defense team says he heard a shot and saw men with guns and backpacks he assumed were drug loadsand that he fired warning shots to drive them away.

PREVIOUS TRIAL COVERAGE: Defense in rancher murder trial rests without George Alan Kelly taking stand

Before final statements began Judge Thomas Fink gave instructions that include when circumstances justify shooting in self defense. They consider how close and credible a threat might be.

Prosecutor Mike Jette told jurors the victim was a long way from Kelly.

Defendant sees Gabriel and Daniel running back to Mexico. Not just running back to Mexico, 115 yards from his property, beyond two fence lines, Jette stated during his closing.

Jette reminded jurors about a long line of law enforcement witnesses who testified Kellys story kept changing, with the number of intruders ranging from a handful to up to 15 men. Sometimes he said he saw multiple guns, sometimes he said he couldnt tell if there were guns or not.

Jette said Kelly did not even tell deputies he had fired his gun until late in the day, a half hour into a formal interrogation.

Kellys attorney Brenna Larkin told jurors Kelly told a Border Patrol agent he had fired his gun and assumed the agent told other investigators. She said theres no firm forensics that tie Kelly’s gun to the victim. The bullet went through the man and was never recovered.

The defense has suggested border bandits shot and robbed Buitimea for money and drugs.

Larkin says Kelly was the one who reported the dead body and if Kelly told conflicting stories, it was because of fear and stress.

“Imagine anyone in his situation, where you fired shots and you know you didnt shoot this person but you know you fired shots,” Larkin said during closing arguments. “That is scary.

Kellys lawyer told jurors investigators decided early on that Kelly was guilty and warped their investigation to prove he was the killer.