Kelly Appeals Sentence And Contempt Order

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Former Athens County sheriff Patrick Kelly filed notice Thursday that he is appealing his conviction on 18 felony charges and has asked to be freed while the appeal is pending.

Kelly was found guilty on Feb. 12 in Athens County Common Pleas Court of multiple felony charges, including 12 counts of theft in office. He was later sentenced to seven years in prison, and was transported to prison Thursday from Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

Defense attorney Scott Wood filed notice Thursday in common pleas court that Kelly is appealing the guilty verdict, his prison sentence and a contempt order issued against Kelly. During his trial, Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove found Kelly in contempt of court for talking about the case to a television reporter in violation of a gag order.

The appeal is to the 4th District Court of Appeals.

On Thursday, Wood also filed a motion in the appeals court asking that execution of Kelly’s sentence be suspended during the appeal.

“(Kelly) is 64 years old and has lived and worked in the Athens County and Central Ohio area for his entire life,” Wood wrote. “(He) is married and his wife and family live in Athens County and Central Ohio.”
Wood points out that Kelly was out on bond for 12 months with no bond violations.

“(Kelly) appeared for every court appearance and has no record of flight or failure to appear for court,” he wrote.

Wood asks the appeals court to order Kelly released from prison and to continue Kelly’s bail.

In addition to the 12 counts of theft in office, Kelly was convicted of one count each of perjury, failure to keep a cash book and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. He was also guilty of three felony counts of theft.