Husband faces trial in slaying of wife at church

| August 31, 2009

The murder trial is scheduled to begin today for a Rockville man accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife outside her Montgomery County church.

Kevin Kelly, 53, faces charges of first-degree murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence.

The shooting happened in February during Sunday services at the People’s Community Baptist Church near Norwood Road and New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring. Police said 52-year-old Patricia Ann Simmons Kelly, of Rockville, was in the parking lot when she was shot several times, including in the chest.

With church services under way, at least three off-duty police officers were directing traffic and they heard the gunshots.

One of the officers was homicide Detective James B. Drewry. The veteran cop ran toward the sounds of the shots, where churchgoers pointed him to Kevin Kelly, according to the police report.

Kevin Kelly was holding a handgun, police said. Drewry pulled out his service weapon and took Kelly into custody.

Patricia Kelly was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Police said Kevin Kelly was taken to police headquarters, where he confessed to the shooting of his wife.

Police said Patricia Kelly and her family had asked her husband to leave their home a week before the shooting. Kevin Kelly went to New Jersey but returned to Montgomery County and went to the church to meet his wife, police said. Police said the husband was unhappy that Patricia Kelly was getting along well and living independently during the separation.

Patricia Kelly moved from New York to Rockville in 2005. In 2008, she became of a member of The People’s Community Baptist Church. Church officials said Kevin Kelly was not a member of the church, but had attended Sunday service before.

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Category: Church Security

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