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Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly has charges dismissed in migrant shooting case

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Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly has charges dismissed in migrant shooting case

An Arizona judge on Tuesday dismissed the case against rancher George Alan Kelly, who was charged with murder after being accused of shooting a Mexican national on his border property.

Kelly, 75, was accused of killing Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, 48, on his 170-acre cattle ranch near Keno Springs outside Nogales, Arizona, on Jan. 30, 2023. 

Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink said the State “has decided not to retry this case following mistrial because another jury would not convict the defendant based upon the same evidence.”

“At best, another hung jury would result. More likely, another jury would acquit,” Fink wrote.

ARIZONA RANCHER GEORGE ALAN KELLY DEFENSE SAYS ‘LONE HOLDOUT’ JUROR BLOCKED ACQUITTAL, STATE WEIGHS 2ND TRIAL

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George Alan Kelly, 73 at the time, was accused of shooting a Mexican man on his property in January 2023. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Santa Cruz County prosecutors in April decided not to retry Kelly after Fink declared a mistrial due to a hung jury. Jurors voted in favor of acquitting Kelly 7-1 of second-degree murder or the lower counts of manslaughter, negligent homicide or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In his decision, the judge cited a lack of physical evidence and witnesses despite the fact that the shooting occurred more than a year ago; the bullet that allegedly killed Ramirez was never located.

ARIZONA RANCHER DEFENSE CONSULTANT CLAIMS ‘CARTEL INFLUENCE’ IN MURDER PROBE, RIPS SHERIFF’S PAST COMMENTS

Border-Rancher-Migrant-Killed

Santa Cruz County prosecutors in April decided not to retry Kelly after Fink declared a mistrial due to a hung jury.  (Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic via USA Today Network, FILE)

The judge also questioned whether the only witness named who came forward, Daniel Ramirez — a man who was walking with Cuen-Buitimea on the night he died — “would even be around for another trial.”

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Ramirez testified that he has tried and failed to cross the border 10 times. “There is no assurance that his whereabouts would be known in the future,” Fink said.

ARIZONA RANCHER GEORGE ALAN KELLY’S WIFE TESTIFIES IN MURDER TRIAL, DESCRIBES ARMED MEN NEAR BORDERLANDS HOME

Arizona Judge Thomas Fink walks out of rancher George Kelly trial

Arizona Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink walked out of the trial of rancher George Kelly, who is charged with murder in the death of a Mexican national on his border property. (Santa Cruz County, Arizona | Pool)

Prosecutors have said that jurors’ opinions about the border may have impacted their decision-making in Kelly’s trial, but Fink said that is only speculation.

The judge described the jury as “rational and diverse” in their 7-1 decision to acquit Kelly.

George Alan Kelly enters Courtroom Three for his preliminary hearing, February 22, 2023, in Nogales Justice Court, 2160 North Congress Drive, Nogales, Arizona.

The judge described the jury as “rational and diverse” in their 7-1 decision to acquit Kelly. (Mark Henle-USA TODAY NETWORK)

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“The court finds that the State is not able to articulate a reasonable basis for holding this case ‘open’ with a dismissal without prejudice. The interests of justice are not served by the dismissal without prejudice for a case that cannot and will not be re-tried,” Fink wrote. “The interests of justice are not advanced where the only thing to be accomplished by a dismissal without prejudice … is the harassment of the Defendant.”

Fox News’ Stepheny Price contributed to this report.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Single father struggling after work van stolen, torched in Southern California

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Single father struggling after work van stolen, torched in Southern California

A Southern California man’s livelihood was compromised when thieves stole his work van containing thousands of dollars worth of tools he’s bought over the years, stripped the vehicle for parts and set it on fire late last week.  

A single father of four, Travell Harding, a contract painter, said he was hoping he’d be able to recover the vehicle, which was stolen while parked across the street from his home in Artesia, and some of the tools. 

“It’s my livelihood,” he explained. “It’s like someone burning your shop down.”  

When he found out it had been torched, he said he couldn’t believe it.  

“I call the tow truck, I say, ‘Hey, I want to get my truck, what’s left of it. I want to get some tools out of it,’” he explained. “They were like, ‘No, you don’t understand. Your van is completely in rubble, there’s nothing for you to get out of it.’ They cut my hood in half and took out the engine. They cut out the catalytic converter, gutted it and set it on fire.”  

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Officers with California Highway Patrol recovered the charred van, which was burned beyond recognition, in a riverbed several miles from his home.  

The suspects made off with all his equipment, paints, brushes, sprayers and tools he’d inherited from his late father, who was also a contract painter.  

To make the situation even worse, Harding’s insurance doesn’t cover anything beyond a car collision, not even a brazen theft like this.  

“I work out of my van. I don’t have an office,” he told KTLA’s Rachel Menitoff. “I’m a small business owner and that was everything in that van.”  

  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding

In his spare time, Harding runs a nonprofit organization – Fighters for the World – that’s dedicated to helping at-risk teens and his work in the community has not gone unnoticed.  

“People are calling me, saying, ‘I’m going to look in my garage, maybe I have a paintbrush, maybe I have this,’ and I’m like, ‘Let me know, I’ll come by and pick it up,’” he said.  

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A GoFundMe campaign was also organized to help Harding replace some of his equipment and, eventually, buy a new van with added security.  

“Even before I pick up some new tools, I’m scared they’re going to be taken again, so I’m putting a kill switch in my truck and an alarm, whatever I can do off the bat to help protect it because they’re targets,” Harding explained.  

Investigators with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Lakewood Station are handling the case, but so far, no suspects have been identified.  

Harding believes the work is likely a group of professional thieves because of the way they were able to strip the vehicle so quickly.  

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Southwest

Have battlegrounds shifted with Harris at top of ticket?

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Have battlegrounds shifted with Harris at top of ticket?

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President Biden’s decision to drop out of the race and Vice President Kamala Harris’ rise to the top of the ticket have thrown the state of the race into question and possibly shifted the battleground strategy.

Biden was trailing former President Donald Trump nationally in the Real Clear Politics polling average and the seven major swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, but underlying data could reveal what Harris might do to change that.

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While polls showed Biden holding his own among older, white working-class voters, the president was starting to lose his grasp on Black and Hispanic voters, a key demographic for Democrats. Harris, on the other hand, has recently been outperforming Biden among Black voters, indicating there is room for her to gain ground on Trump in a close election.

HARRIS REPEATS DEBUNKED CLAIM TRUMP WANTS TO ‘BAN’ ABORTION DURING FIRST CAMPAIGN RALLY SINCE BIDEN QUIT RACE

President Biden’s decision to drop out of the race and Vice President Kamala Harris’ rise to the top of the ticket have thrown the state of the race into question. (KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

According to one Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted last month, Harris held a 67% favorability rating among Black voters, compared to 23% who had an unfavorable view of the vice president. Biden, meanwhile, came in with a 63% favorable rating, compared to 31% who held an unfavorable view of the president.

An NBC News poll conducted earlier this month revealed similar results when pitting both Biden and Harris against Trump, with Biden beating Trump 69% to 12% among Black voters, a 57-point lead, while Harris led the former president 78% to 14%, a 64-point advantage.

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When Biden was still in the race, most of the swing state attention was given to the so-called “Blue Wall” states in the upper Midwest of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. However, Harris’ strength among Black voters could lead the vice president to look south towards Georgia and North Carolina as opportunities to close the gap.

Biden speaks at a rally in Virginia

When Biden was still in the race, most of the swing state attention was given to the so-called “Blue Wall” states, but Harris’ strength among Black voters could lead the vice president to look south as an opportunitiy to close the gap. (Fox News)

DEM VOTERS AT MILWAUKEE RALLY SAY THEY’RE FIRED UP FOR HARRIS: ‘UNITED AND ENERGIZED’

According to 2020 census data, Georgia and North Carolina have a Black population of 31% and 20.5% respectively, far more than the populations of Michigan (13.7%), Pennsylvania (10.9%), and Wisconsin (6.4%). On the other hand, those states in the upper Midwest have a higher share of older White voters, a demographic in which Biden was outperforming Harris.

Polling of a matchup between Trump and Harris is so far sparse, especially in battleground states, but there are some early indications that Harris may look south for help. One Landmark Communications poll, which was conducted Tuesday, shows Trump with just a one point lead over Harris in Georgia, a smaller advantage than most of the polling had previously shown the former president enjoyed in a matchup against Biden.

Donald Trump speaking at lectern

Polling of a matchup between Trump and Harris is so far sparse, especially in battleground states. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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While winning both Georgia and North Carolina would likely not be enough to put Harris over the top, her ability to put them in her column would open up several more viable paths to victory. Without them, Harris would likely need to win all of the other five swing states in order to get to 270 electoral votes.

The Harris campaign did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Death Valley tourist suffers third-degree burns on feet after losing flip-flops on dunes

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Death Valley tourist suffers third-degree burns on feet after losing flip-flops on dunes

A Belgian tourist suffered third-degree burns on his feet during a visit to Death Valley National Park over the weekend.

According to the National Park Service, the 42-year-old man was taking a walk on the sand dunes when he lost his flip-flops. The air temperature at the time, officials said, was around 123 degrees and the ground temperature would have been “much hotter.”

A Death Valley National Park ranger told the Los Angeles Times that the ground temperature can reach 170 to 180 degrees and has even been known to get as high as 200 degrees.

“The skin was melted off his foot,” Park Ranger Gia Ponce told the Times.

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The man’s family called for help and other park visitors came to his aid to carry him to the nearby parking lot to await paramedics.

Officials said he suffered “full-thickness” burns on his feet and was in significant pain, but due to the extreme heat in the area, a helicopter was unable to fly and safely land in the area.

Instead, a ground ambulance rushed the man to a higher elevation where temperatures were slightly cooler, still around 109 degrees, which allowed for a helicopter to land and fly him to a Las Vegas hospital.

Officials urge visitors to take necessary precautions when exploring Death Valley, which is the driest, lowest and hottest of all the nation’s parks.

Rangers recommend visitors stay within 10 minutes of an air-conditioned vehicle, drink lots of water, eat salty snacks, wear sunscreen and appropriate clothing, and not hike after 10 a.m.

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