Man who attacked woman after Hurricane Michael sentenced to prison

Published: May. 19, 2020 at 6:35 PM CDT
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A man accused of attacking a woman in her home will spend the rest of his life in prison.

On October 16, 2018, days after Hurricane Michael hit our area, Richard Kelley, Jr., attacked a woman with a hammer while her child watched in their Freeport home. Tuesday, Kelley was sentenced to life in prison for burglary of a dwelling while armed and 15 years in prison for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon to be served consecutively. Kelley pleaded no contest to the charges in March.

Kelley had helped the victim change a flat tire down the road from her home the day before the attack. Kelley told the victim he had evacuated from Marianna to Freeport due to Hurricane Michael. He also told her he had recently been released from a hospital after a motorcycle crash and showed her a scar.

Investigators say they believe Kelley followed the woman to her home and that's how he learned where she lived.

Kelley waited until the victim's husband left the home and kicked in the door. He was armed with a hammer and a knife. He attacked the victim in her bedroom while her child watched. She recognized Kelley from the day before and was able to fight him off by hitting him when he was hurt on his stomach.

Two witnesses saw Kelley run away from the scene, and DNA evidence put Kelley inside the home.

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