Las Vegas judge releases convicted murderer after ‘miscommunication’

NDOC requests warrant be pulled ahead of parole hearing

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A judge released a convicted murderer after a “miscommunication” led police to arrest him following his release from federal custody more than a year ago.

As the 8 News Now Investigators first reported Monday, Nevada prison officials did not know Jeremy Kelly, 43, was not in federal custody until January when he was due for a parole hearing.

On Tuesday, prosecutors wrote in court documents that the Nevada Department of Corrections determined “a fugitive warrant was no longer needed” and the agency “no longer requires Kelly to be in custody.” Kelly’s listing on NDOC’s website continued to say he was in “out of state confinement” as of Wednesday. Kelly had not been in out-of-state confinement since June 2022, according to prosecutors, and was at the Clark County jail as of his latest arrest.

In June 1996, Metro police arrested Kelly, then 15, in the shooting death of Terry Dixon. At the time of his arrest, Kelly and the victim’s son were driving the victim’s stolen truck, documents said. Prosecutors alleged Kelly, the victim’s son and three other men conspired to rob Dixon, but shot and killed him instead. A judge later sentenced Kelly to two consecutive life terms with the possibility of parole.

A prior booking photo of Jeremy Kelly when he was in NDOC custody. (NDOC/KLAS)

Kelly was in custody at High Desert State Prison outside Las Vegas when the Nevada Parole Board granted him parole in 2016, documents said. Less than two years later, Kelly violated his parole and returned to the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections.

In December 2017, Las Vegas Metro police arrested Kelly after they found him driving with a gun, drugs and nearly $8,000 in cash, documents said. An officer had stopped Kelly for driving without his headlights illuminated.

Kelly later pleaded guilty to charges of a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of heroin, documents said. A federal judge then sentenced Kelly to 42 months in prison with 18 months of credit for the time he served in custody awaiting trial.

According to prosecutors, after his federal sentence ended in June 2022, Kelly “was mistakenly and incorrectly released from federal custody” and not returned to state prison for violating probation, documents said.

It was not until last December the department of corrections realized Kelly was not in their custody. The realization came as Kelly would have been eligible for parole in January 2024. Judge Jacqueline Bluth issued a warrant for Kelly’s arrest on Jan. 25, records said.

Metro police then arrested Kelly on that warrant on Feb. 16.

“Unfortunately, there was some miscommunication between the federal prison bureau and the NDOC regarding Mr. Kelly,” Senior Deputy Attorney General Jaimie Stilz said in court Wednesday. “Mr. Kelly was released on federal probation when he still had terms left for his sentences with NDOC.”

NDOC did not put a hold on Kelly when he went into federal custody, Stilz said. The bureau of prisons contacted CCDC not NDOC about him, she said. Kelly, a father of two, has been out of custody for two years, he told the court. He lived and worked in a halfway house for part of his sentence, he said.

In this April 15, 2015, file photo, is High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Bluth requested Stilz an NDOC investigator about the mix-up, though specific details about why Kelly was coded in their system as still in federal custody were unclear.

“If NDOC and the feds would have been on the same page, he would have been returned to custody?” Bluth asked Stilz.

“Correct,” Stitz said.

The NDOC investigator said Kelly was in compliance with his federal probation with a steady job, leading that investigator to request to the department’s inspector general that the warrant be recalled.

“I was also told that the director had conferred with the governor’s office and the governor’s office had also agreed,” the investigator told the court.

The day after the request, Metro police arrested Kelly because at that point the warrant was not quashed.

Bluth released Kelly after NDOC’s request Wednesday. He had a parole hearing scheduled for April.

An NDOC spokesperson said a statement was in review Tuesday, but the 8 News Now Investigators never received it.

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the specifics of the case but highlighted the department’s early release programs.

A spokesperson for Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office declined to comment.

Original News Source Link – KLAS

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