911 calls released in case of rancher accused of killing migrant

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Ariz. (NewsNation) — After a 74-year-old rancher allegedly shot and killed a Mexican citizen on his property on Jan. 30, he told Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s dispatch that there was an animal lying face down on his property and they needed to send officers.

“It’s very serious, ma’am, and I’m not going to talk over the telephone,” George “Alan” Kelly frantically told the dispatcher.

The dispatcher repeatedly requested additional information to ensure the safety of responding deputies.

In the recordings from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff obtained by NewsNation, a Border Patrol agent told the sheriff’s department that Kelly was being intentionally vague with the ranch liaison.

In the nearly 8-minute phone call, Kelly, who is accused of killing 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea after firing an AK-47 at a group of undocumented individuals, asked the Sheriff’s office multiple times for assistance, saying an EMT or ambulance cannot help.

Kelly said he didn’t want to say anything that would get him into trouble and maintained that he didn’t shoot at anything — despite Border Patrol reporting that to dispatch. He recited part of the Miranda Rights, reiterating that he has the right to remain silent in the situation.

The dispatcher continues questioning Kelly and he ultimately admits there is a body on the ranch but refers to the victim as “it,” and says it’s not a vegetable or a mineral. He told the dispatcher, “I only approached the body to make sure the animal … it’s not a vegetable or a mineral. The animal was not alive and it is not alive. There were no signs of blood. There was just an animal laying facedown.”

He then says, “You know there’s a body here.”

Kelly pleaded not guilty on Monday to second-degree murder and aggravated assault charges.

His trial is scheduled for Sept. 6.

Border Report

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