Kelly prelim

George Alan Kelly, second from left in cowboy hat, leaves the Santa Cruz County courthouse on Friday following a preliminary hearing at which a justice of the peace found probable cause for Kelly to be tried on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

A justice of the peace on Friday found probable cause for Kino Springs rancher George Alan Kelly to face trial on charges of murdering one Mexican man and assaulting two others when he fired an AK-47 toward them after seeing them on his property.

Justice of the Peace Emilio Velasquez reached his decision after an all-day hearing, during which he heard testimony from several witnesses: three Sheriff’s Office detectives and a man who directly implicated Kelly as the shooter. The latter witness, a Mexican citizen, said he saw 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen Buitimea drop dead from a gunshot wound after the two of them, along with five other people, had illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on Jan. 30.

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