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Arizona rancher held on $1M bond in killing near U.S. border

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  • SANTA CRUZ COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE VIA AP
                                This photo provided by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office in Nogales, Arizona, shows rancher George Alan Kelly, 73, who is being held on $1 million bond in the fatal shooting last week of a man tentatively identified as a Mexican man on his property. Kelly faces a charge of first-degree murder. Authorities have not released a motive in the case and it was unknown if the men previously knew each other.

    SANTA CRUZ COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE VIA AP

    This photo provided by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office in Nogales, Arizona, shows rancher George Alan Kelly, 73, who is being held on $1 million bond in the fatal shooting last week of a man tentatively identified as a Mexican man on his property. Kelly faces a charge of first-degree murder. Authorities have not released a motive in the case and it was unknown if the men previously knew each other.

NOGALES, Ariz. >> A rancher who lives near Arizona’s border with Mexico is being held on a charge of first-degree murder in last week’s fatal shooting of a man tentatively identified as a Mexican citizen. His bail was set at $1 million.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office in Nogales, Arizona, confirmed Monday that George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested last week in the killing. Authorities believe the victim was Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, who lived just south of the border in Nogales, Mexico, because of a Mexican voter registration card he carried.

The killing occurred Jan. 30 in the Kino Springs area just outside Nogales, Arizona, said Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gerardo Castillo. The address where the killing happened is the same one listed in public records for Kelly’s cattle ranch.

Details about the shooting were sketchy and it was unknown if the two men previously knew each other. Authorities have not given a motive.

Kelly was being held at the Santa Cruz County Jail after hisarraignment in the county’s Justice Court last week. He is set to return to court Wednesday.

Local attorney Brenna Larkin, who was appointed by the court to represent Kelly, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the charge against him.

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