Driver in fatal Md. crash a no-show for sentencing

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Kenneth Kelley of D.C. was supposed to be sentenced Friday in the deaths of five people in 2014. He had admitted he was drunk behind the wheel when his Mercedes slammed into an Acura in Oxon Hill.

Anguished family members of the victims filled one side of a Prince George’s County courtroom and waited for Kelley, 27, to be sentenced.

But he never showed up.

As the minutes turned into more than an hour, frustration boiled into outrage. Court was adjourned while prosecutors and Prince George’s County deputies tried to find Kelley. Meanwhile, relatives screamed that there was no justice in the case, which left 10 children without their mothers.

Finally, Judge Albert Northrop returned to the courtroom to say that Kelley was a no-show, and that he recognized Kelley’s failure to appear was disappointing for family members and the court. He said he would reschedule the sentencing and order Kelley held without bond once Kelley was back in custody.

As they left the courtroom, one relative referred to Kelley and shouted, “I hope he doesn’t drink and kill anybody else tonight!”

Prince George’s County state’s attorney spokesman John Erzen said prosecutors had asked that Kelley be held without bond while awaiting sentencing. Instead, the judge had decided to let Kelley out on $100,000 bond on the condition that Kelley be outfitted with a GPS monitor.

But in a move that surprised even the state’s attorney’s office, Kelley’s monitor had been removed sometime last week. It was not clear who made that decision or why.

Outside the courtroom, relatives of the victims questioned why Kelley, who had admitted responsibility for one of the deadliest crashes in the region in decades, had ever been allowed out on bond. Lloyd Hardy, a family member, told reporters, “You know, kids lost their moms, moms lost kids … who gives people bond for killing five people?”

Typhani Wilkerson, 32, and Tameika Curtis, 35, were killed in the crash, along with two children in their car — Khadija Ba, 13, and 1-year-old Hassan Boykin. Dominique Green, 21, who was riding in Kelley’s Mercedes, was also killed in the crash.

Wilkerson and Curtis were sisters and had 10 children between them, one of whom was born just weeks before the fatal wreck. Sunday will be the third Mother’s Day the children will have without their moms.

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