Man accused of attacking woman in Freeport home enters plea

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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A man accused of attacking a woman in her home has entered a plea to a Walton County judge.

On October 16, 2018, days after Hurricane Michael hit our area, Richard Kelley, Jr., was accused of attacking a woman with a hammer while her child watched in their Freeport home. Monday, Kelley pleaded no contest to the charges of burglary of a dwelling while armed and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

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.

Kelley's sentencing will be in May. He faces up to life in prison.

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