UPDATED: Mike Jette’s Audition for Pima County Attorney in the George Kelly Case Ends in Mistrial

UPDATE: The court declared a mistrial due to the jury’s inability to reach a unanimous verdict in the Kelly case. Needless to say, that is not good news for the State’s case. I believe it will now be Mr. Jette’s discretion now whether to retry Kelly with a new jury.

Here is the video of the court proceeding.


Highly experienced prosecutor Mike Jette is the lead prosecutor on George Allen Kelly’s trial for shooting an unarmed migrant to death on his ranch near the border. He is also a candidate in the Democratic primary against incumbent Pima County Attorney Laura Conover.

Mr. Jette wants to be our ‘top prosecutor’ and has stated on the campaign trial that he feels it important that he handle some cases personally. It seems fair, therefore, to judge his candidacy – at least in part – based on his handling of this very high profile and politically sensitive case.

Personally, I believe that a County Attorney needs A LOT of skills and experience that go far beyond those of even the most skilled line or supervising prosecutor, and that a top-flight prosecutor is NOT always the best choice for the policy, public safety, justice and equity challenges that face a County Attorney in their actual work for the public.

The view of a prosecutor working in the trenches of the daily battle for justice – in my personal opinion – sometimes lacks the strategic viewpoint of the battlefield necessary to actually deliver progress on that battlefront. That’s why I have personally supported and continue to endorse Laura Conover for re-election. She brings such a wider viewpoint to the work, which in my own estimation, has enabled her to make substantial progress in public safety, justice and equity for all to the people of Pima County.

I will let others without my own prosecutorial experience and resulting biases judge how Jette does in his closing. It is regular folks who ultimately have to be the triers of fact, and it can be difficult for a prosecutor too see cases as a regular person without legal training and trial experience would see them. So, I think YOUR reactions and perceptions are much more salient to Jette’s performance than my own.

Clearly, the issue of immigration is a hot-button political issue, but vigilantes murdering immigrants seems like a poor solution to the immigration crisis which few would advocate for or tolerate. The evidence in this case I find pretty damning, yet the jury seems unconvinced – having deliberated for several days now and seeming to be having some difficulty reaching a unanimous verdict.

On Verdict Watch today…

Of course, you haven’t sat through the trial and seen all the evidence, as have the petit jury in this case, but I think you can fairly judge how well Jette sums up the evidence and argues for Kelly’s conviction.

Here is Jette’s closing. Consider it an audition to be our County Attorney:

Jett’e Closing in the Kelly case, part 1

For some reason KGUN 9 locked out the ability to display the second part of the video on other site, so you have to go to YouTube directly for Part 2 of Jette’s closing.

For those very committed to this ‘interview’ process, it is only fair that you also watch the closing arguments of the defense, as well. So, I include that footage (which is also restricted to viewing on YouTube) here, too:

Part One of Defense Closing.

Part Two of Defense Closing.

I would be VERY interested in your comments about Jette’s ‘interview’, as I’m sure would be Mr. Jette and his advisors and supporters!

1 thought on “UPDATED: Mike Jette’s Audition for Pima County Attorney in the George Kelly Case Ends in Mistrial”

  1. I watched much of the closing as it was broadcast. I thought Jette did a very nice job. This case, because of the politics of the border, was a difficult prosecution. I think what Jette showed most was his willingness to take on the tough case. Something LC has not done. She pleads too many cases that would best be tried. A retrial decision will not be Jette’s but rather made by the Santa Cruz CA. As far as Jette trying cases, he can set policy and help mentor the inexperienced folks that LC has been able to retain.


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