Upset Judge Storms Out Of The Courtroom

Photo by Hansjörg Keller on Unsplash

( – This week, an Arizona judge, clearly frustrated with the conduct of both parties in a court case, abruptly left the courtroom during ongoing proceedings. Judge Thomas Fink of the Santa Cruz County Superior Court, overseeing the trial of rancher George Alan Kelly, temporarily exited the courtroom while the defense was presenting. Local media reported that Judge Fink handed over control to the court clerk and reporter during this time.

The case involves Kelly, who is charged with the murder of Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, a Mexican national. The incident has captured significant attention due to the circumstances surrounding the shooting. According to the prosecution, Kelly fatally shot Cuen-Buitimea from a considerable distance. However, the defense argues that Kelly had only fired warning shots into the air earlier that day from his patio.

Wanda Kelly, the defendant’s wife, testified that she contacted their Border Patrol ranch liaison after observing two armed individuals in camouflage, carrying rifles and backpacks, near their property. The defense is challenging the reliability of forensic evidence and the autopsy report, questioning whether they conclusively prove that the shot that killed Cuen-Buitimea came from Kelly’s firearm. Notably, the bullet in question was never recovered from the scene.

Adding complexity to the defense’s strategy, a consultant for Kelly suggested that a “rip crew” — potentially a bandit group with cartel ties — might have been responsible for Cuen-Buitimea’s death and subsequent robbery, a theory not yet countered by state witnesses according to reports from Fox News Digital.

Previously, Kelly had been held on a $1 million bond under a first-degree murder charge, which was later reduced to second-degree murder. Earlier this year, he declined a plea deal that would have reduced the charge further to negligent homicide.

The trial, which has been marked by contentious and prolonged oral arguments, is scheduled to conclude on April 19. Judge Fink’s momentary departure highlights the ongoing challenges and tensions in the courtroom.

Copyright 2024,