Family recalls officials discovering Cliff Allyn’s body, arresting cousin
PASCAGOULA -- The teen accused in the killing of his cousin, a 16-year-old Vancleave High school freshman, is scheduled for an initial appearance in Jackson County Court on Tuesday.
Dexter Mandoza Kelley, 19, of Meridian, will appear at 10 a.m. for a bond hearing.
Kelley is being held at the Jackson County jail on a charge of murder in the killing of Cliff Allyn, 16, who went missing Wednesday afternoon. Sheriff's K9s found Allyn's body in a wooded area about 200 yards behind his grandmother's home in rural Vancleave early Thursday evening.
Autopsy results are pending in the case.
Jennifer "Jenny" Smith, Allyn's mother, said she wants Kelley to remain locked up.
"If he does get out, somebody else is going to be in danger," she said. "The thing is, Cliff trusted him. He (allegedly) killed an innocent little boy. If he did that, just imagine what else he could do. I just hate it was my child. I just want to know why and I'll probably never know."
Allyn's family said he was last seen playing basketball with Kelley and Kelley's brother outside their grandmother's home on Nanny Road around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Smith said her son had been staying with his grandmother in Vancleave for the last year to help care for her because she had suffered several strokes.
Kelley had moved into a mobile home on the same property about three weeks ago.
Kitty Johnson, the boys' grandmother, said Sunday she thought Kelley was going to stay at the home on the property for about two weeks but he never left. Kelley's brother, she said, had asked her if he could stay there.
According to police records obtained by the Sun Herald, Kelley had been arrested in a couple of domestic-related assaults in recent years in Gautier.
In one case, he admitted threatening to kill his father and cut him with a knife on their way home from a Mardi Gras parade.
In another incident at Kelley's mother's home in Gautier, reports say, Kelley assaulted his brother and was armed with a knife and scissors when he threatened to harm him and other relatives. His mother told police she had been trying to get Kelley admitted to a state mental hospital in Meridian for a "mental disorder."
Mike Johnson, Allyn's grandfather, said Kelley's family tried to get him help.
He talked to Kelley's brother after the arrest.
"He said, 'Pappa, we tried to get him in treatment,'" Johnson said.
Kelley's family put him in a hospital, Mike Johnson said, but they wouldn't keep him.
Kelley also went to jail, he said, but they couldn't keep him either.
Smith said she has talked to her brother about his son's arrest in Allyn's death.
"He said he tried to get him help," she said. "He said he's losing two people and that he loves Cliff and he loves Dexter."
Still, Smith said, she doesn't want her nephew to end up in a mental hospital serving time for his alleged crime because "he knew what he was doing."