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EXCLUSIVE: Migrant, 48, shot dead by elderly Arizona rancher after crossing the border onto his land is pictured – as his family in Mexico demand ‘justice’

  • Gabriel Cuen-Butimea was shot dead on January 30 by George Alan Kelly
  • Kelly, 73, is in custody on a murder charge with a $1million bond 
  • The elderly rancher has begged to be released to help his wife tend to livestock 

The Mexican migrant shot dead by an Arizona rancher after crossing the border illegally and running onto his land can be pictured today for the first time as his family calls for ‘justice’ in his death. 

Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, was shot on Monday January 30th by 73-year-old rancher George Alan Kelly, after crossing onto Kelly’s land in Kino Springs, a remote area of Arizona just 1.5miles from the border. 

He was unarmed and was shot once – dying on the property.

Kelly, who friends say has had trouble with other migrants passing through his land, remains in custody in Arizona on a $1million bond, awaiting his next court appearance on a single murder charge. 

Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, was shot on Monday January 30th by 73-year-old rancher George Alan Kelly, after crossing onto Kelly's land in Kino Springs, a remote area of Arizona just 1.5miles from the border

Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, was shot on Monday January 30th by 73-year-old rancher George Alan Kelly, after crossing onto Kelly’s land in Kino Springs, a remote area of Arizona just 1.5miles from the border

He pleaded with a judge to lower it or set him free earlier this week, citing the fact that his elderly wife couldn’t tend to their livestock alone, but he was sent back to jail. 

George Alan Kelly, 73, is being held on a $1million bond. He begged a judge to lower the amount and let him go home to help his elderly wife tend to their livestock

George Alan Kelly, 73, is being held on a $1million bond. He begged a judge to lower the amount and let him go home to help his elderly wife tend to their livestock

Cuen-Butimea tried multiple times to enter the US illegally before Kelly shot him dead.

Records indicate he was deported several times, most recently in 2016. 

It’s unclear if he ever crossed the border onto Kelly’s property before the incident on Monday.

Sheriffs say they did not know each other. 

Many of the details of the case remain unclear, including whether Kelly will be able to invoke a stand your ground defense. 

As Kelly awaits his next court appearance, Cuen-Butimea’s family in Mexico are mourning his death and demanding justice. 

They held a memorial for him in their hometown of Nogales, just over the border, last night. 

On social media, his relatives are calling for justice. 

Cuen-Butimea's family mourned him in Nogales on Monday night. He died of a single gunshot wound

Cuen-Butimea's family mourned him in Nogales on Monday night. He died of a single gunshot wound

Cuen-Butimea’s family mourned him in Nogales on Monday night. He died of a single gunshot wound

It remains unclear why the 48-year-old had crossed illegally onto Kelly's land, or if he'd done it before. He had been deported several times before, the most recent of which was in 2016

It remains unclear why the 48-year-old had crossed illegally onto Kelly's land, or if he'd done it before. He had been deported several times before, the most recent of which was in 2016

It remains unclear why the 48-year-old had crossed illegally onto Kelly’s land, or if he’d done it before. He had been deported several times before, the most recent of which was in 2016

Kelly's ranch in Kino Springs, Arizona is just a mile and a half north of the Mexico border

Kelly’s ranch in Kino Springs, Arizona is just a mile and a half north of the Mexico border

Kelly’s ranch in Kino Springs, Arizona is just a mile and a half north of the Mexico border

‘We will get justice for you, daddy, I promise,’ his adult daughter said alongside Kelly’s mugshot.

The family has not explained why Cuen-Butimea had crossed over into Kelly’s land.

In court yesterday, Kelly begged to have his $1milion bond lowered. 

‘She’s there by herself… nobody to take care of her, the livestock or the ranch. And I’m not going anywhere. I can’t come up with a million dollars. 

‘Would you consider reducing it to any degree?’ he said. 

The judge, Justice of the Peace Emilio Velasquez, told him his lawyer would have to file a request to lower bond.

Kelly was appointed local public defender Brenna Larkin, who is yet to answer any media inquiry about the case.  

Arizona’s Stand Your Ground laws 

Under Arizona law, ‘a person is justified in threatening or using physical force against another when, and to the extent a reasonable person would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful physical force.’

It could be used as a defense when homeowners attack — or potentially even kill  — someone to stop certain crimes like murder, rape or armed robbery.

The Stand Your Ground laws are not permitted as a defense, however, when there was only a verbal provocation or the homeowner who is claiming self-defense provoked the attack.

By using the Stand Your Ground laws as a defense, prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was not justified in using deadly force in self-defense.

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