Trial of Arizona Rancher Accused of Killing Illegal Immigrant Takes Odd Turn When Judge Walks Out of Courtroom

Trial of Arizona Rancher Accused of Killing Illegal Immigrant Takes Odd Turn When Judge Walks Out of Courtroom

Irked that the case of an Arizona rancher accused of killing an illegal immigrant is taking longer than he wanted, the judge in the case stalked out of the courtroom Thursday.

George Alan Kelly, 75, is on trial for a second-degree murder charge in connection with the shooting death of an illegal immigrant last year.

Judge Thomas Fink left the courtroom after venting his frustration over the pace of the trial and then cutting back the time the defense has to question a witness, according to Newsweek.

“I’m gonna start imposing time limits in this case on direct and cross-examinations,” Fink said after being notified of defense witnesses who have yet to be called.


“When we discussed this case, and leading up to this case and during the trial, counsel informed me, advised me, that this case would take three weeks,” Fink said. “Today is three weeks. We started on March 21. Today is three weeks, and the state’s still in its case.”

Fink said he has been looking for ways to “exercise any authority over the pace of the case.”

“Clearly, we are behind schedule,” Fink said. “This case is going to go to the jury next week. It’s going to go to the jury next Thursday. And I’m gonna move this case so that happens.”

Before the defense could resume its cross-examination of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office Det. Mario Barba, Fink imposed a limit on questioning, according to KOLD-TV.

“Call the witness to the stand. We’re not going to question the witness anymore on this particular point. You have five more minutes with this witness on cross-examination,” he said.

“Judge, I have to object. This witness is very crucial to the defense,” defense attorney Breanna Larkin said.

“I’ve never been limited to just five minutes on cross-examination and this witness testified to all sorts of involvement in this case. This is one of the defense’s main witnesses that we have to get to,” she said.

“Judge, limiting me to five minutes of cross-examination with this witness limits Mr. Kelly’s constitutional rights,” she said.

“Now it’s four minutes. Call the witness,” Fink replied.

Shortly after that, he left the courtroom.

Also on Thursday, jurors went to Kelly’s ranch to observe the scene where the shooting took place, according to WTXF-TV.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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