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Mental competency raised in case of Portland man charged with murdering his father

The Star Press (Muncie) logo The Star Press (Muncie) 7/5/2022 Douglas Walker, Muncie Star Press
Jay County Courthouse © Star Press file photo Jay County Courthouse

PORTLAND, Ind. — The mental status of a Portland man accused of killing his father remains unresolved.

Jeremy W. Kelly, 50, is set to stand trial Aug. 22 in Jay Circuit Court on charges of murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

According to court documents, 71-year-old Gary W. Kelly died on Feb. 25 as a result of blunt force injuries suffered in an attack at his South Vine Street home.

Witnesses said the father and son had a heated argument the night before the slaying. When he was later apprehended in Wayne County, Jeremy Kelly allegedly had his father's wallet and credit cards.

In April, the younger Kelly's defense attorney, Brandon Murphy, filed a "notice of defense of mental disease or defect," the first step in pursuing an insanity defense.

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That prompted Judge Brian Hutchison to appoint a local psychologist and psychiatrist to examine Kelly, who is being held in the Wayne County jail.

One of those mental health professionals later reported to Hutchison he went to the jail in Richmond to meet with Kelly, whom he described as "calm and polite."

However, the prisoner declined to participate in an evaluation, and later reportedly told a corrections officer the mental health professional was an agent in a scheme by the judge to kill Kelly.

"In summary, Mr. Kelly did not cooperate long enough to complete a psychiatric evaluation," the report indicated, adding that the Portland man is "unlikely competent to stand trial" without receiving treatment.

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Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at dwalker@muncie.gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Mental competency raised in case of Portland man charged with murdering his father

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