Sentencing continue in Kelly abuse case

Date: 2006-11-29

Sherry and Patrick Kelley were back in a Palmer courtroom Tuesday morning.

The two were accused of abusing their children, chaining one to a tree, but they reached a deal with the state. Tuesday the sentencing phase continued.

Sherry Kelley admits to tying her 13-year-old son to a tree and making him sleep in a wooden box the size of a coffin but denies most of what is stated in a report by the Alaska State Troopers.

Sherry Kelley and her husband Patrick were both arrested in September of 2004 and charged with multiple counts of assault and kidnapping. Earlier this year the couple reached an agreement with prosecutors, and now sherry faces up to six years behind bars.

The Kelley's allegedly abused their five adopted children, keeping them out of school for years, denying them food, and forcing them to work in the family garden for long hours.
The children were removed from the couples care in July of 2004.

During her testimony Sherry Kelley said there was always food for the children, and the reason she tied her son up and locked him in a box was in fear of her own safety and the safety of the other children. She says she made the box herself.

[Lawyer:] “Tell me how long was he in the box?”

[Kelley:] “He was in the box for three nights until we had to get other arrangements made.”

[Lawyer:] “And how high was the box, you testified how long it was but how high was it?”

[Kelley:] “It was either a foot to 18 inches.”

[Lawyer:] “You testified yesterday that he was chained to the tree for three days?”

[Kelley:] “It was over a period of three days. He wasn't chained there continuously.”

[Lawyer:] “Who would let him off?”

[Kelley:] “I would.”

[Lawyer:] “And who finally made the decision he could come off for good?”

[Kelley:] “I did.”

As of late Tuesday afternoon the judge did not make a ruling. The sentencing is scheduled to continue, but it's not going to happen Wednesday, so we will have to wait and find out.

One of the allegations is that Sherry Kelley denied medical treatment to one of her kids. A report by the Alaska State Troopers says that she refused to seek medical treatment for her son after he was badly burned. Troopers say he was left untreated for so long that maggots started to develop inside the wounds. Also, they say the same child got frostbite on his finger and she refused to take him to the doctor for that.

Sherry Kelley says she treated the wounds herself, and they were getting better.


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