Drunken driver who skipped sentencing apprehended at Md. hotel

WASHINGTON — The man who failed to show up for sentencing in a 2014 drunken driving crash that killed five people was apprehended Monday in a hotel on Allentown Road, in Suitland, Maryland.

Sharon Taylor, communications director with the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, said investigators had spent the weekend looking for Kenneth Kelley, the 27-year-old D.C. man who did not appear at a sentencing hearing Friday, May 12.

Taylor said the weekend search centered on the District and Virginia, where Kelley has lived in the past.

On Monday, armed with new anonymous tip, the sheriff’s office and the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force learned that Kelley was at the unspecified hotel.

According to Taylor, agents watched Kelley go into the hotel and arrested him there.

Taylor said the operation went smoothly, and no weapons were found on the scene.

Kelley faced up to 50 years in prison for the 2014 crash, in which five people died.

He had pleaded guilty to 28 counts in the crash, including negligent manslaughter and drunken driving.

John Erzen, spokesman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, said Kelley is now also charged with failure to appear.

It’s unclear whether he will face any other additional charges associated with not being in court for sentencing.

The circumstances surrounding Kelley’s disappearance are still not clear. Prosecutors are reviewing transcripts to determine whether Kelley had ever been ordered outfitted with a GPS monitor.

Initially, prosecutors believed he had.

Kelley is being held without bond, pending sentencing, Erzen said.

Editor’s note (July 26, 2021, 5:25 p.m.) — An earlier version of this story stated some Loudoun County, Virginia, students and staff would be required to wear masks. The county has not yet released detailed guidance. This story has been updated.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.


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