Judge walks out of George Kelly trial, Arizona rancher accused of shooting migrants

The judge in the trial of Arizona rancher George Kelly walked out of the courtroom in the middle of proceedings on Thursday.

The trial is in its third week and Judge Thomas Fink has accused lawyers on the defense and prosecution of dragging out the oral arguments.

Jurors were taken to the scene of the shooting outside of Kelly's 170-acre cattle ranch just outside of Nogales, earlier this week. 

That is where prosecutors say Kelly shot and killed a migrant who was crossing illegally in 2023.

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Jurors tour property of George Kelly who is being charged with killing a migrant crossing through the land. (Photo courtesy AZ Superior Court of Santa Cruz County)

Kelly's defense has argued that the lack of gun residue indicates the gunshots could have come from someone else.

Kelly told police during the investigation that he fired warning shots in the direction of the group of migrants but it was unclear if his shot was the death blow since no bullets were recovered at the scene.

He has not taken the stand but his wife has.

He could face life in prison if convicted.

The case comes at a time when heightened scrutiny is taking place on the issue of border security and immigration nationwide.

A federal bipartisan immigration reform bill was killed in early February without even making it to a vote on the Senate floor. 

Republicans - led by presidential candidate Donald Trump - argued the bill, which also included foreign aid to nations abroad, did not fit their agenda.