George Kelly trial: Lone juror reportedly the reason for mistrial

We are learning that a lone juror is the reason Arizona rancher George Kelly's trial ended in a mistrial.

Kelly, 75, was charged with second-degree murder in the January 30, 2023, shooting of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea. Cuen-Buitimea, 48, lived just south of the border in Nogales, Mexico. Court records show Cuen-Buitimea had previously entered the U.S. illegally several times and was deported, most recently in 2016.

Prosecutor Mike Jette said Kelly recklessly fired nine shots from an AK-47 rifle toward a group of men, including Cuen-Buitimea, about 100 yards (90 meters) away on his property.

Kelly said he fired warning shots in the air, but he didn’t shoot directly at anyone.

Jette said Cuen-Buitimea suffered three broken ribs and a severed aorta. His unarmed body was found 115 yards (105 meters) away from Kelly’s ranch house.

Although investigators found nine spent bullet casings from Kelly’s AK-47 on the home’s patio, the bullet that killed Cuen-Buitimea was never recovered.

Kelly's defense team said while seven jurors decided he was not guilty of killing Cuen-Buitimea, one juror wanted to convict. Judge Thomas Fink then declared a mistrial after a third attempt to reach a verdict failed.

Prosecutors can ask the judge for another trial next week.