Four Life Terms For Md. Rampage

Anthony Kelly served as his own attorney at trial.
Anthony Kelly served as his own attorney at trial. (Montgomery County Police Departm - Montgomery County Police Departm)
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By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A prison parolee who killed a 9-year-old girl and raped a grandmother during a 2002 crime rampage in Montgomery County was sentenced yesterday to more than four life terms in prison, a punishment imposed minutes after he declared his innocence and told relatives of his victims that they "can't handle the truth."

Circuit Court Judge Durke G. Thompson stacked Anthony Kelly's sentences back-to-back, adding 100 years for five related counts of robbery, burglary and weapons violations.

"Your actions have wrecked and destroyed lives," the judge told Kelly, 44. "This is the end of the road."

Before he was sentenced, Kelly spoke for 29 minutes. He spent most of the time sitting in a chair, his head turned away from the judge and toward his victims' relatives. Kelly told them that one day they would apologize to him for thinking he was guilty, and he suggested that they consult an attorney to better understand the particulars of the case. He also said he had been framed and had not been permitted to present evidence of his innocence.

"A lot of y'all got to get that through your head," he said.

After the hearing, several family members said it was all they could do to stay in their seats and not go after him.

At one point, Kelly, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, suggested that Carol Smith, the mother of the 9-year-old victim, Erika Smith, call the Montel Williams television show and ask to be booked with a psychic who was a regular guest.

"She is a professional, and she can talk to the dead," Kelly said, leaning back in his chair and looking toward Smith. "And I guarantee you that your loved one will tell you that I'm not the one that murdered them."

The judge saw it differently. He called the forensic evidence in the killings of Erika and Erika's father, Greg Russell, 47, more extensive than in any other case in his career.

"Proof in these cases has been overwhelming," Thompson said.

Kelly represented himself in three trials this year stemming from the 2002 rampage, all of which ended in quick convictions. At yesterday's hearing, he was sentenced in all three cases.

Kelly's rampage began late one night in March 2002, when he walked past a 60-year-old woman on a Silver Spring sidewalk, authorities said. He turned around, pistol-whipped the woman and raped her near a parked car, breaking her wrist and dislocating her shoulder in the process, according to trial testimony. The woman walked to a relative's home, and when she arrived, her face was so bloody that her daughter didn't recognize her.

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