The fate of Sheriff Pat Kelly is in an Athens County jury’s hands.
Kelly took the stand on Monday saying he did not break any laws, if anything it was bad record-keeping. Today both the prosecution and defense wrapped up their case with closing arguments.
Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove gave the jury instructions at 2 p.m.
Kelly is accused of pocketing cash from scrap sales and campaign donors and confidential informants. He is also accused of buying a thousand dollars’ worth of meals on a Furtherance of Justice credit card, the state says Kelly was stealing it all.
“Why don’t the amounts match on every single document, they don’t match because he wasn’t paying confidential informants. They don’t match because he was taking that money from the cash box and using it for his own use,” said Melissa Schiffel, Assistant Ohio Attorney General.
The state walked jurors through all 25 counts charging Kelly with theft, theft in office,corruption tampering with evidence, perjury, dereliction of duty, obstruction of justice, failure to keep a cash book and racketeering.
Kelly’s attorney Scott Wood says the state’s case comes down to a lack of documentation, not law breaking.
“A lack of documentation in of itself does not prove anything. It may be enough for an audit or the Ohio Elections Commission, but you need more for a criminal case,” Wood told jurors.
Wood says the state went after Kelly for the four “C’s” confidential informant and campaign cash, along with comped meals and concealed carry permits.
But Schiffel says it’s about theft, derelict of duty and racketeering.
“When you engage in multiple thefts in office, tampering with records perjury, is that the kitchen sink of criminal offenses? You bet ya! .”
Wood told jurors all Pat Kelly ever wanted was to be sheriff and would not risk that for money?
“Do you think he would risk his job, his career, his dream his reputation for a few thousand dollars and a few free meals?” Wood says.
That is up to the jury to decide. Kelly faces 40 years if convicted.
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