More than $425K raised for Nogales rancher accused of murdering Mexican migrant

More than $425,000 in donations has been raised to help the Nogales-area rancher accused of murdering a Mexican migrant in January.

The amount is split among four campaigns to help George Alan Kelly on GiveSendGo, a Christian fundraising website. One campaign alone has raised more than $350,000.

Kelly, 74, is accused of shooting and killing 48-year-old Gabriel Cuen Buitimea. Kelly faces one count of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

George Alan Kelly answers the judge as he stands with his lawyer, Brenna Larkin, during his arraignment in Santa Cruz County Superior Court in Nogales, Ariz., on March 6, 2023. Kelly is facing murder and other charges in the shooting of a Mexican national on his border property.

The prosecution alleged that Kelly shot Buitimea in the back as he fled for his life. Kelly’s lawyer argued that Kelly only shot above the heads of a group of people moving through his property in self-defense.

Kelly’s trial is set to begin Sept. 6.

The case has been described as a “political powder keg” by Kelly’s lawyer. Court and law enforcement officials have received threatening and disturbing communications regarding the case, according to court documents.

George Alan Kelly enters Courtroom Three for his preliminary hearing on Feb. 22, 2023, in Nogales.

The organizer of one of the GiveSendGo campaigns described Santa Cruz County officials as “communists” for not letting Kelly speak to his wife when he was in custody.

“Because of the illegal actions of the prosecutor in this case, the next rancher/farmer will shoot to and let the coyotes scatter the bones,” read one comment attached to a 25-dollar-donation on one of the fundraising campaigns.

Who is George Alan Kelly?:What we know about the Nogales rancher accused of murdering Mexican migrant

The campaigns are set up to have all the donations go to Kelly’s wife, Wanda. One campaign describes Kelly as a “patriot” and calls for people to donate to defend him.

Wanda Kelly (George Alan Kelly's wife) leaves Nogales Justice Court on Feb. 22, 2023, in Nogales.

Wanda set up a campaign herself that has raised over $6,000.

In the campaign’s description, Wanda describes Kelly as a “rock” to their family who loves animals. Kelly is a humble person with simple needs who likes socks, Wanda wrote.

“Alan and I are living a nightmare,” Wanda wrote in the description. “He has been accused of a serious crime, and he is innocent.”

George Alan Kelly enters Courtroom Three for his preliminary hearing on Feb. 22, 2023, in Nogales.

The campaign’s cover photo shows a clean-shaven Kelly sitting outside with one of his dogs. The Kellys have two dogs named Wolf-Hound and Bear-Colt in addition to owning a 29-year-old horse, Sonny, according to the description.

The two dogs alerted Kelly to Buitimea’s body lying face down near a mesquite tree on his property, court records show.

GoFundMe, another popular crowdfunding platform, removed all campaigns set up to help Kelly, saying they violated the company’s terms of service.

Have a news tip or story idea about the border and its communities? Contact the reporter at or connect with him on Twitter @joseicastaneda.