Murder Defendant Acts as Attorney

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Six years ago, in Montgomery County and parts of Howard, Prince George's and the District, prosecutors say Anthony Kelly raped two women, killed three people, stole five cars and broke into a gun shop.

This summer, Kelly, 44, is inside a Montgomery courtroom acting as his own defense attorney, cross-examining victims and their relatives.

Yesterday, his subject was Carol Smith, 44, an information technology executive whose 9-year-old daughter Kelly is accused of fatally shooting in 2002, along with her father, Gregory Russell, 47.

"Did your daughter ever say that she knew anybody by the name of Anthony Kelly?" Kelly asked her, sitting behind his defense table, flanked by two armed sheriff's deputies.

From the stand, Smith stared at Kelly for almost 20 seconds. Circuit Court Judge Durke G. Thompson broke in: "Ma'am, that's a yes or no question."

"The only time that she would have ever known anybody by the name Anthony Kelly would have been when you shot her," Smith responded. "If you didn't tell her your name, she wouldn't have known your name."

"Ma'am," said the judge, directing Smith to answer yes or no. She said no.

In an interview yesterday from a holding cell, Kelly said he can "feel" the "pain" of those he has cross-examined during his three trials, the first two of which resulted in rape convictions.

"I really feel sorry for them," Kelly said, speaking from behind protective glass before yesterday's afternoon court session.

Wearing white tennis shoes, jeans and a black T-shirt with drawings of a Wile E. Coyote-type cartoon figure, Kelly asserted his innocence, as he has since he was arrested six years ago.

Among the people Kelly is accused of harming, authorities say, are a 60-year-old woman who was pistol-whipped and raped along a Silver Spring sidewalk and a 36-year-old tourist fatally shot near the Takoma Park Metro Station in the District.

For several years, Kelly was held in the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Howard County, where doctors said he had delusions, believing his defense attorneys were out to get him.

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