Irish man jailed for murder in Fayette, Illinois
A 28-year-old man who had been accused of killing his mother and her boyfriend in a domestic dispute in Fenton, Illinois, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Michael John Kelly was sentenced Monday by Judge Daniel O’Donnell in the Fayette County District Court.
Kelly was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of Mary Ann Kelly and her girlfriend, Michael Anthony Smith.
Kelly, who is white, has also been convicted of violating a protective order against his estranged wife, Mary Ann Smith.
A judge in that case agreed to grant Kelly a reduced sentence because the state had provided Kelly with DNA testing that would have cleared him.
The court did not rule on whether Kelly should be released on bond.
Kelly is due to be released in 2023.
His attorney said Monday that Kelly will appeal the sentence.
“It’s a very difficult decision,” said attorney Stephen Bouchard.
“But the system is designed to work with the family.
And we think the system will work.
We think there’s a lot more to come out of this case.”
Mary Ann and Michael Smith were found dead at their Fenton home in April 2019.
Kelly had reportedly been out drinking with a group of friends that night, and later was seen drinking with Smith in his car.
A search of his vehicle and a search of Smith’s home found the bodies of his mother, Mary Anne, her boyfriend, Michael Smith, and two children.
A grand jury indicted Kelly in June of that year.
Kelly pleaded guilty to the murders in March and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday.
The judge also ordered that Kelly be required to register as a sex offender.
Kelly told police in January that he killed the women to protect Smith and his children.
He also said he killed Mary Ann because he was jealous of Smith, who he was married to.
Kelly’s attorney said the man was a troubled person who became violent when he was unable to control his anger.
The state had initially argued that Kelly was the victim of domestic violence when he killed Smith.
In March, Kelly was released on parole after serving 12 years for a murder conviction in Illinois.
He was also given a 10-year suspended sentence for failing to register for the sex offender registry.
He has not been convicted in the other cases.