Crime

Man accused in cousin's beating death in Vancleave set for preliminary hearing

PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNY SMITHCliff Allyn, 16, was found beaten to death on March 30, 2016.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNY SMITHCliff Allyn, 16, was found beaten to death on March 30, 2016.

JACKSON COUNTY -- A Meridian native accused in the beating death of his cousin is due in Jackson County Court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

Dexter Kelley, 19, is accused in the March 30 killing of his cousin, Cliff Allyn, 16, outside their grandmother's home in Vancleave. He is being held in the Jackson County jail on a murder charge.

Kelley could waive the hearing and the case is automatically bound over to a grand jury for indictment. If not, evidence will be presented and the judge will rule whether to bound the case over to a grand jury for indictment.

Kelley has remained jailed without bond since his March 31 arrest.

Allyn's mother, Jenny Smith, reported him missing a couple of days before his body was found in a wooded area about 200 yards behind his grandmother's home in rural Vancleave.

A police K-9 led investigators to Allyn's body.

Allyn lived in a home with his grandmother in rural Vancleave, and Kelley lived with his brother in a mobile home on the same property.

Allyn was last seen playing basketball outside his grandmother's home with Kelley and Kelley's brother, Dustin Kelley.

Dexter Kelley had been involved in other run-ins with law enforcement prior to his arrest in Allyn's murder.

In two cases, Kelley pleaded guilty to the crimes.

In one incident, Kelley admitted stabbing his father in the hand and threatening to kill him. In the other incident, Dexter Kelley admitted assaulting his brother and threatening others in a home with a knife and scissors. He later pleaded guilty to different charges in both cases in Gautier.

Dexter Kelley's father, Paul Kelley, said his son suffers from a mental disorder, and the family tried to get him help for his disorder but kept getting turned away.

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