From: romulus.ehs.uiuc.edu!compuserve.com!73437.2541 (George Hero)
Date: 01 Dec 94 22:02:48 EST
(c) 1994 Charlotte Observer. All rts. reserv.
07814095 RELEASE SET LATER THIS MONTH FOR FIGURE IN DAY-CARE SEX CASES
Observer (CO) - THURSDAY, November 10, 1994 By: The Associated Press Edition:
ONE Section: METRO Page: 2C Word Count: 406
MEMO: The following story also appeared in edition 3, page 4c and a
shorter version also ran in edition 4, page 24a.
TEXT: EDENTON - Elizabeth T. Kelly will be a free woman Nov. 26 or earlier
after serving 11 months in prison on a no-contest plea to child sexual
abuse charges, the Parole Commission said Wednesday.
Kelly, 39, entered the prison system in January after pleading no
contest to 26 counts of taking indecent liberties with children at Little
Rascals Day Care Center and three other sex abuse counts. She was sentenced to
seven years in prison.
Kelly and her husband, Robert F. Kelly Jr., owned and operated Little
Rascals Day Care Center.
Robert Kelly was convicted on 99 counts of child sexual abuse and
sentenced to 12 consecutive terms. Former day-care cook Dawn Wilson was
sentenced to life in prison. The convictions of both are being appealed.
Another defendant, Willard Scott Privott, an acquaintance of Robert
Kelly's, pleaded no contest to sexual abuse charges in June and was placed on
There still are four defendants awaiting trial in the case, which began
Kelly was charged in 1989. His trial, the first in the case, began in August
1991 and ended in May 1992.
Elizabeth Kelly was eligible for release when she entered prison, and her
attorney, Joe Cheshire, argued that she shouldn't be incarcerated at all. But
she was taken to prison after Superior Court Judge Marsh McLelland sentenced
her to seven years.
The Parole Commission denied her release after hearings in April.
Supporters argued for early release and opponents argued that she stay in
prison. At that time, she became eligible for the November release date.
``It is important for the public to understand that the commission no
longer has authority to keep Mrs. Kelly incarcerated,' said commission
Chairman Juanita Baker.
The state's Fair Sentencing Act, the law under which she was sentenced,
requires that people serving felony sentences longer than 18 months be
released 90 days from their sentence expiration, said Tracy Herring, the
commission spokeswoman. Elizabeth Kelly's sentence expires Feb. 24, 1995.
Other factors contributing to the release date are good time, gain time and
merit time. Automatic good-time credit cut the seven-year sentence in half and
gain-time credit was given for working in the prison.
Kelly also received credit for the more than two years she spent in jail
before she raised bond money.
Elizabeth Kelly DESCRIPTORS: EDENTON, NC; PRISON; MAJOR STORY