Kelley would have spent more time in prison if sentenced in civi - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Kelley would have spent more time in prison if sentenced in civilian court

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If Devin Kelley was tried for domestic violence and child abuse in El Paso County and not in a military court marshal, he likely would have spent much more time in prison.

According to the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office, the minimum sentencing guidelines locally for knowing or reckless child abuse resulting in serious bodily harm, which is a class 3 felony, is 10 to 34 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Air Force documents show Kelley spent one year in prison after pleading guilty to child abuse charges.

“The likelihood is here in El Paso County, he would have served a Department of Corrections sentence much longer than one year,” said Mark Hanchey, who’s a former JAG Attorney

That one year sentence in 2012 and bad conduct discharges from the Air Force in 2014 preceded a new report showing Kelley escaped from a behavioral health center in New Mexico.

He was found in El Paso, Texas where the report shows he threatened to kill superiors.

And the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, where 26 people died, said he’d seen Kelley there before.

Once at the church’s fall festival on Halloween night.

And a lack of reporting by the Air Force of that federal felony conviction allowed Kelley to legally buy the gun.
“It's not the court martial itself that ultimately sends that information to law enforcement, to civilian law enforcement, it is instead handled by whichever military law enforcement agency handled the underlying court martial,” said Hanchey. “Even had the domestic violence part of this not come into play, had that court martial result been reported properly, he would have been precluded from buying a firearm."

Injuries of those others involved in the shooting range from minor to critical.

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