How Did Drunken Driver's Case Fall Through Cracks? Answers Still Unclear

WASHINGTON — Officials close to the case of a D.C. man who skipped out on his sentencing in a fatal drunken driving case can’t explain exactly what happened regarding the monitoring of 27-year-old Kenneth Kelley.

Kelley, who was captured Monday night after failing to appear for his sentencing last Friday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court, was out on bond at the time of his disappearance.

He had pleaded guilty to all 28 counts in the 2014 case that killed three women and two children.

John Erzen, spokesman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, told reporters last Friday that somehow, Kelley’s GPS monitoring device had been removed.

Erzen — when asked how and why the GPS would have been removed before Kelley’s sentencing — said Monday that there was no order for GPS monitoring from Judge Albert Northrop in Kelley’s case file.

Northrop is the judge who set Kelley’s bond before his sentence.

Erzen said Tuesday that a close examination of the court transcripts from Kelley’s plea hearing showed that all parties — the judge, prosecutors and Kelley’s defense attorney, Antoini Jones — agreed that Kelley should be monitored by a GPS device.

But Erzen’s office, he said, “had no reason to believe” that Kelley hadn’t been outfitted with the GPS.

Kelley’s attorney said “it was my understanding” that Kelley had been put on the GPS monitoring device.

At last Friday’s hearing, when Kelley didn’t show up, the victims’ family members, who filled one side of the courtroom, told reporters that they found it impossible to understand why Kelley had been allowed out on bond — and that they suspected he wouldn’t show up because he faces a steep sentence.

Kelley faces up to 50 years in prison.

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