By Christina Laila
Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly, who already faces a first-degree murder charge for the shooting death of a Mexican man, now also faces two charges of aggravated assault Tuesday, just one day before his scheduled preliminary hearing.
The additional counts filed in Santa Cruz County each say Kelly “using a rifle, a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, intentionally did place [unnamed person], in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.” But this filing like others from the government so far fails to specify how or why authorities believe Kelly is the responsible party.
In his own court filing from earlier this month, Kelly — who remains held on $1 million bond — says he’s an innocent man. He admits to firing his rifle in the air in late January to scare off armed drug traffickers. Those men, he says, are the ones responsible for the shooting death of a Mexican national found shot to death on Kelly’s borderland property outside Nogales.