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George Alan Kelly trial juror says one holdout led to deadlock


(NewsNation) — A juror in the trial of Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly told NewsNation there was one holdout who disagreed on what action a “reasonable person” would have taken in Kelly’s situation.

Kelly was facing second-degree murder charges for allegedly shooting and killing a Mexican man, Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, on his property. According to prosecutors, Kelly recklessly fired an AK-style gun at the group roughly 100 yards away on his cattle ranch, while Kelly maintained he fired warning shots into the air but did not shoot at the group.

After days of deliberation, the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, leading to a mistrial.

The juror, who wished to remain anonymous, told NewsNation the jury was made up of five men and three women, four Hispanic and four white. Initially, the juror said, the panel started out at 6-2 in favor of not guilty, then later moved to 7-1.

“This was after a long weekend of the eight of us agreeing to think things over in a reverse position,” the juror said. “That was helpful, and I can say every juror worked very hard.”

While things did get heated in the jury room and some tears were shed, the juror told NewsNation that deliberations came down to one person who would not change their mind from viewing Kelly as guilty of second-degree murder.

That juror didn’t believe there was a third party on the land and said they could not give Kelly the benefit of the doubt, according to the juror who spoke to NewsNation.

A key element was the section of the jury instructions and law that stated that Kelly’s actions should be judged based on what a “reasonable person would do.”

“The juror stated a reasonable person would have stayed inside and called 911 and waited for help to arrive, instead of protecting their lives on their property,” said the juror who spoke to NewsNation.

The juror said the holdout was guided by feelings and opinions and suggested they were unfamiliar with running a ranch or firearms.

The remaining members of the jury were unconvinced of Kelly’s guilt, citing conduct by law enforcement and the number of unanswered questions about the prosecution’s case.

Prosecutors decided not to retry the case after the mistrial, leaving Kelly to return home.