Kelly found guilty, gets life with no parole in Marshall baby death
Oct. 7, 2016 at 9:59 a.m.
Updated Oct. 7, 2016 at 9:59 a.m.
Deterryon Tyrell Kelly, 29, was found guilty of capital murder Friday after almost two hours of deliberation by a Harrison County jury.
The sentence comes with an automatic life sentence with no eligibility of parole.
Kelly was accused of killing 21-month-old Ja’Keen Naevon Sanders, his former girlfriend’s son, while the three lodged at Best Western Inn in Marshall on May 5, 2014.
The toddler was found unresponsive at the Best Western on May 6, and later died at Good Shepherd Medical Center-Marshall. Kelly, who was the boyfriend of the victim's mother, at the time, was arrested nearly a month later following the results of the autopsy and further investigation.
Kelly contended the boy had become stuck between a bed and a night stand. Testimony revealed a surveillance video from the hotel appears to show him striking the child the night before he was found dead.
Jurors rejected several lesser offenses included in their instructions. The verdict form, presented to the jury by 71st District Judge Brad Morin, charged jurors to either find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of capital murder or find him guilty of a choice of five the lesser included offenses, which were: murder, manslaughter, intentionally or knowingly causing injury to a child, recklessly causing injury to a child, or causing injury to a child with criminal negligence. If they weren't sure beyond a reasonable doubt of either choice, the charge instructs the jury to find him not guilty.
See a previous story here.