By Jen Smith, Chief Reporter For Dailymail.Com
GoFundMe has removed multiple fundraising pages set up by strangers to help the elderly rancher charged with murder for shooting dead a Mexican migrant on his Arizona ranch.
George Alan Kelly, 73, remains in custody awaiting his next court appearance in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.
On January 30, he shot and killed 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen-Butimea after he crossed illegally onto his ranch in Kino Springs, near Nogales.
Friends of Kelly’s say he’s had trouble before with illegal migrants using his land to cross through. The elderly rancher was thrown in jail – where he has remained despite pleas to lower his bond.
Kelly’s court-appointed attorney – Brenna Larkin – is yet to attempt to secure his release or have his bond lowered. The elderly man told a judge recently he had no way of coming up with $1million, and that he needed to be released to help his wife tend to their livestock.
Multiple GoFundMe pages set up to help Kelly have been removed by the website
Strangers who sympathize with Kelly and deem him a patriot who was defending his land set up GoFundMe pages to help with his legal defense.
But the fundraising company has since removed those pages, citing their policy that they do not allow any fundraising to help defend ‘violent crimes’.
‘GoFundMe’s Terms of Service explicitly prohibit campaigns that raise money to cover the legal defense of anyone formally charged with an alleged violent crime. Consistent with this long-standing policy, any fundraising campaigns for the legal defense of someone charged with murder are removed from our platform.
‘Donors who contributed to the fundraising campaigns for George Alan Kelly’s legal expenses have been fully refunded,’ a spokesman told DailyMail.com.
A Give Send Go page for Kelly has been set up instead.
That website is less inclined to remove pages, and was where countless donors gave to help Kenosha rioter shooter Kyle Rittenhouse as he fought murder charges in 2021.
Kelly has not had a chance to explain why he shot Cuen-Butimea, or if he’d met or encountered him before. Arizona has stand your ground and trespassing laws, but Kelly’s attorney is yet to invoke either.
His court-appointed attorney filed a two-week delay, citing the overwhelming scale of the case as reason for her to need more time to prepare.
A Give Send Go account has been set up for Kelly and remains active. It has so far raised $5,000
George Alan Kelly is shown in court on February 2 after his bond was set at $1million
Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, was shot on Monday January 30 by 73-year-old rancher George lan Kelly, after crossing onto Kelly’s land in Kino Springs, a remote area of Arizona just 1.5 miles from the border
Kelly’s sprawling ranch in Arizona is just 1.5 miles from the Mexican border. His friends say he’s had problems with migrants crossing
It means Kelly must stay in jail for another two weeks at least, awaiting a new attorney or for his current attorney to file a request.
Newly-obtained video shows the frail 73-year-old shuffling into court in a pair of plastic prison slides.
He then asked the judge to allow him his reading glasses so that he could read the charge against him.
‘May I ask a question your honor? I can’t read without my reading glasses… they’re not prescription just 1.5 magnification or something like that.
‘I am aware of everything I can hear and now, thanks to you, I’ll be aware of everything I can read,’ he said.
Later, he asked for a definition of ‘indigent’, after the judge ruled that he was likely not ‘indigent’ enough to receive a public defender.
He had submitted financial records that showed his home and ranch as collateral. It’s unclear how much they are worth.
‘Your honor may I ask you a question?’
Kelly speaking with his wife briefly in court on February 2. He told the judge he hadn’t been able to speak with her or ‘anyone’ since his arrest on January 30
‘You used the word indigent, would you please give me your definition of indigent?
‘Somebody doesn’t make a certain amount – someone not making more than $20,000-a-year.
‘That’s more than accurate. I understand,’ he said.
It’s unclear if he meant it was accurate that he earned less than $25,000-a-year, or accurate that his paperwork was incomplete.
At the end of the hearing, Kelly said: ‘Your honor may I ask one more question at an appropriate time?’
‘One moment please,’ Justice of Peace Emilio Velazquez replied.
George Alan Kelly, 73, is being held on a $1million bond. He begged a judge to lower the amount and let him go home to help his elderly wife tend to their livestock
After waiting until the judge was ready, Kelly pleaded: ‘I noticed coming in, my wife is present in the court. May I ask her to make an appointment for audio visual conference?
‘I have not been able to talk with her or anyone.’
The judge replied: ‘That’s something that has to be discussed with the detention facility downstairs. If your wife wants communication with you she can go to the sheriff’s office.’
Kelly said meagerly: ‘I appreciate you giving that instruction.’
Kelly’s bond was set at $1million. He previously pleaded with the judge to lower it, saying he needed to look after his elderly wife and their livestock.
‘She’s there by herself… nobody to take care of her, the livestock or the ranch. And I’m not going anywhere. I can’t come up with a million dollars.
‘Would you consider reducing it to any degree?’ he pleaded.
The judge refused instead telling him his attorney had to file a request – which she has not done.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group