Arizona rancher pleads not guilty to second-degree murder of alleged illegal immigrant on his property

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Appearing in court on Monday, Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly pled not guilty to downgraded charges in connection to the shooting of a Mexican man on his property in January.

73-year-old Kelly was arraigned on Monday on a second-degree murder charge for the January 30 shooting of Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, downgraded from the first-degree murder charge that prosecutors were seeking after public criticism, according to the Daily Mail.

The judge set a September 6 date for Kelly’s trial, despite Kelly’s team wanting more time to fight the charges.

In February, Kelly was released from custody after posting his $1 million bond, with funds being raised through the Christian fundraising platform GiveSendGo.

On January 30, Kelly called Border Patrol, claiming he was being shot at by a group of Mexican men running through his property, which lies just 1.5 miles from the southern border. He said that he fired warning shots at the group above their heads, taking caution not to hit them.

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