‘Significant Change’ in Charge Against Arizona Rancher Accused of Killing Illegal Alien

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A 73-year-old rancher accused of killing an illegal alien on his property has had the charge downgraded from first- to second-degree murder.

George Alan Kelly was charged after a Mexican national was found shot dead on his Arizona ranch last month. The property is roughly a mile and a half from the border with Mexico.

Fox News reported that the charge was amended Friday in Santa Cruz County Justice Court.

Brenna Larkin, Kelly’s court-appointed attorney, entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of her client.

Larkin addressed the decision to downgrade the charge.

“That’s a significant change in the charge,” she said. “Second-degree murder is, frankly, a more complicated theory of the case for both the state and the defense.”

Kelly was released on a $1 million bond this week. He received the money via donations to the Christian fundraising platform GiveSendGo.

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