Bond reduction hearing rescheduled for Helena couple charged with child abuse

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA–A Helena couple that was arrested on Nov. 14 and charged with aggravated family child abuse after allegedly torturing, willfully abusing and maltreating their 14-year-old adopted son will remain in the Shelby County jail after a Jan. 4 preliminary hearing for a bond reduction was rescheduled, according to officials at the Shelby County Courthouse.

Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly

The Helena Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office arrested 56-year-old Richard Hobson Kelly and 47-year-old Cynthia Rogers Kelly of Helena on Nov. 14 and charged them with one count each of aggravated family child abuse.

Cynthia Kelly

Cynthia Kelly

Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar thanked the officers and investigators involved with the case during a press conference held at Helena City Hall on Nov. 15 and said, “For many of them, this is the most disturbing case that they have seen in their careers.”

The arrest warrants stated that this was allegedly done “on more than one occasion causing serious physical injury to the child including severe chronic malnourishment, shock, acute respiratory distress, hypothermia and hypothyroid disease.”

The couple remains in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $1 million each and on Dec. 5, attorneys representing both defendants filed an emergency motion for an expedited hearing to reduce the bond amounts.

“Your defendant has a total bond amount of $1 million, which is in excess of the recommended bond range of $30,000,” read the motion filed in Shelby County District Court pertaining to the Class B felony aggravated child abuse charge. “This bond amount is excessive and illegal. There is no order approving a bond amount in excess of the recommended bond set out in the recommended bond schedule.”

The motion also said that both defendants do not have any prior felony or misdemeanor arrests and have been residents of Shelby County for several years.

On Dec. 8, Shelby County District Judge Daniel Crowson approved the emergency motion for an expedited hearing for a bond reduction to take place on Jan. 4 but it was rescheduled.

This is the second time a hearing for a bond reduction has been rescheduled in the case, as the couple was initially expected to appear in court on Dec. 14, 2016.

As of Jan. 4, a new date and time has not yet been determined for the bond reduction hearing.