A former forest ranger, who entered a plea of guilty on charges related to child pornography, was sentenced Thursday in Harlan Circuit Court.
Bobby Kelly, 31, appeared with his attorney Kent Varney in front of Judge Robert McGinnis for sentencing on a 27-count indictment from 2010.
Before sentence was passed, Varney called witnesses to attest to Kelly’s character.
Varney called Tracy Bailey to testify first. Bailey said she had known Kelly most of her life. Bailey also testified that she knew Kelly to be an upstanding member of the community.
Varney then called Cumberland Church of God Pastor Ronnie Doyle. Doyle characterized Kelly as “an upstanding church member who does the right thing.”
According to Doyle, Kelly has made no attempt to be around children who attend the church.
Kelly sat quietly during the hearing, occasionally wiping tears from his eyes while he listened to the testimony.
Varney asked that McGinnis also take into consideration that Kelly had no other criminal record.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Karen Davenport pointed out the seriousness of the charges.
“Just one item in possession is a felony,” said Davenport. “That has to be taken into account.”
After considering the circumstances, McGinnis sentenced Kelly to five years on each of 26 counts of possession of material portraying a sex performance by a minor and one count of distribution of material portraying a sex performance by a minor, to run concurrently for a total of five years. Kelly was granted probation for a period of five years, with the added provisions that he be placed on the sex offender’s registry for 20 years and refrain from the use of computers.
In other court action:
* Carl Madon, 54, of Harlan, was sentenced to five years each on two counts of first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, to run concurrently. Madon was granted probation for five years and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $280;
* Jeremy Franks, 33, of Cumberland, was sentenced to a total of two years in prison on charges of theft by unlawful taking and first-degree criminal mischief. Franks was also ordered to pay $4,500 in restitution;
* Charles Wiley, 20, of Winchester, was sentenced to three years in prison on a charge of reckless homicide. A request for probation was denied;
* Emma Caldwell, 35, of Baxter, was granted two years diversion probation on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with physical evidence;
* Debra Greene, 35, of Grays Knob, was sentenced to a total of one year in prison on charges of tampering with physical evidence, public intoxication, third-degree criminal trespassing and possession of marijuana. Greene was granted probation for two years, with the first year being supervised;
* Edward Widner, 56, of Hyden, was granted diversion probation for five years on a charge of flagrant non support. Widner was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $18,000;
* Samuel Crider, 41, of Wallins, was sentenced to two years, probated for five years on charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree fleeing or evading police. Crider’s driver’s license was suspended for 30 days.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, firstname.lastname@example.org