Rape Trial Nears for Parolee Accused in 3 Slayings, Other Crimes

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 5, 2008

In 2002, authorities allege, a prison parolee named Anthony Kelly cut a violent path across the Washington area, starting in March with the rape of a 60-year-old Salvadoran immigrant in Montgomery County.

Kelly raped another woman in June, according to charging documents. In August, police say, he cut through the kitchen window screen of a Silver Spring house and, wearing a wig and a fake beard, fatally shot a 47-year-old man and his 9-year-old daughter. Later that month, police say, Kelly killed a tourist in the District. He is also accused of stealing five cars over four months and burglarizing a gun store.

In the middle of it all, Kelly got married -- at a church two blocks from where the tourist was slain.

Now, six years later, Kelly is set to stand trial.

Until recently, Kelly, 44, had been held in a locked ward in a hospital in Howard County, where doctors concluded that his belief that there was a government conspiracy to frame him was part of full-blown delusions. Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Durke Thompson had deemed him incompetent to stand trial.

In February, Thompson found that Kelly was now competent, saying he had shown a "greater flexibility in thinking" about his circumstances. Thompson scheduled the first of three Montgomery trials for June.

Carol Smith, whose daughter Erika was killed in the house in Silver Spring, said she was gratified at the chance her daughter's killer might be held accountable.

"It's been an awfully long time," said Smith, who has since married a Washington Post reporter. "It feels like it's been an eternity."

Kelly discharged his court-appointed attorneys in February and intends to represent himself.

Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy, who rarely tries cases these days, plans to handle the prosecutions. He is making good, he said, on a promise he made years ago, as a deputy state's attorney.

"I made a commitment to the families of these victims," he said. "I told them I would be there for them when it comes back."

McCarthy selected the trial involving the attack on the 60-year-old to go first. He was doing so, he said in court, because she has talked about moving back to El Salvador.

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