Crime

Hearing delayed for teen accused of beating cousin to death

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDDexter Mendoza Kelley waits on Tuesday April 5, 2016 in Jackson County Court for his initial appearance on a murder charge in the death of Cliff Allyn.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALDDexter Mendoza Kelley waits on Tuesday April 5, 2016 in Jackson County Court for his initial appearance on a murder charge in the death of Cliff Allyn. SUN HERALD

PASCAGOULA -- Paul Kelley came to Jackson County Court on Monday for a preliminary hearing for his son, a 19-year-old accused in the beating death of his cousin and Paul Kelley's nephew, Cliff Allyn.

"I had to come up here to show him I support him," his father said. "I had to."

After more than a hour in County Court, Kelley learned the hearing for his son, Dexter Kelley, 19, was reset for June 13 because investigators in the case are unavailable. The Jackson County deputies are out of pocket because of an officer-involved shooting that resulted in a man's death.

Paul Kelley lives in Meridian, but plans to attend any hearings his son has to let him know he's supporting him. A preliminary hearing is held to determine if there is enough evidence in a case to send it to a grand jury for indictment.

"He's my son," he said.

Dexter Kelley has remained jailed since his March 31 arrest on a murder charge. He is accused of beating his cousin to death the day before.

A Jackson County K-9 led investigators to Allyn's body in a wooded area behind his grandmother's home in rural Vancleave.

Allyn's mother, Jenny Smith, her fiance, Delbert Sledge, and Smith's mother, Kitty Johnson, also came to court for the hearing that was postponed.

Prior to Dexter Kelley's arrest in the killing, he had been involved in other run-ins with law enforcement.

In both cases, Kelley admitted to the crimes. One involved Dexter Kelley stabbing his father in the had and threatening to kill him. In the other incident, Dexter Kelley admitted assaulting his brother and threatening others with a knife and scissors. He later pleaded guilty to both cases that occurred at different times in Gautier.

Dexter Kelley's family said they tried to get him help for a mental disorder, but kept getting turned away.

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