Kelly case de­tec­tive grilled on omis­sions

Chris Dai­ley tells pros­e­cu­tor he con­ducted a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drea Ball, Tony Plo­het­ski and Claire Os­born aball@states­man.com tplo­het­ski@states­man.com cos­born@states­man.com Kel­ley case con­tin­ued on A9

Cedar Park Po­lice GE­ORGE­TOWN — Depart­ment De­tec­tive Chris Dai­ley sat in the wit­ness stand, try­ing to an­swer the blunt ques­tions that came his way.

Did you in­ves­ti­gate any­one other than Greg Kel­ley in the 2013 sex­ual mo­lesta­tion case of two young boys at an in-home day care fa­cil­ity? the lawyer asked. Did you find out who else had ac­cess to the boys? Did you in­ter­view all the par­ents of the other chil­dren who went to the day care? Did you even visit the house? No. No. No. No. “Do you think you con­ducted a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion in this case?” asked Wil­liamson County pros­e­cu­tor Rene Gon­za­lez. “Yes, sir,” Dai­ley an­swered. The an­swers came in the first day of what is ex­pected to be a three-day hearing in which lawyers for Greg Kel­ley — who was con­victed in 2014 of su­per ag­gra­vated sex­ual abuse against a 4-year-old boy — will say their client is in­no­cent or at least, de­serves a new trial.

Kel­ley’s lawyers will try to con­vince state Dis­trict Judge Donna King that Kel­ley was wrong­fully con­victed. They say there’s a new sus­pect, that his lawyers made mis­takes and that their client couldn’t have com­mit­ted

the crime be­cause he wasn’t around the child enough at the time of the al­leged as­sault.

Af­ter the hearing, King will de­cide whether she be­lieves any of those claims has merit. She will then make rec­om­men­da­tions to the Texas Court of Crim­i­nal Ap­peals, which will ul­ti­mately de­cide Kel­ley’s fate.

Pros­e­cu­tors with the Wil­liamson County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice were at Wed­nes­day’s hearing to lis­ten to tes­ti­mony and ask ques­tions. Dis­trict At­tor­ney Shawn Dick has es­sen­tially de­scribed the of­fice as be­ing on a fact-find­ing mis­sion to an­swer ques­tions sur­round­ing the case.

Since May, Kel­ley’s at­tor­ney has filed nu­mer­ous mo­tions in court in re­la­tion to the case. Among the big­gest rev­e­la­tions was that the Texas Rangers were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a new sus­pect: Johnathan McCarty.

For about a year start­ing in mid-2012, as Greg Kel­ley’s par­ents were deal­ing with ill­ness, Kel­ley lived with McCarty and his fam­ily, who ran the in-home day care cen­ter in a Cedar Park house. But in the sum­mer of 2013, shortly af­ter Kel­ley moved out, a boy who at­tended the day care told his par­ents that he had been sex­u­ally as­saulted by Kel­ley. An­other lit­tle boy, who later re­canted, said the same thing.

Dai­ley was the lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor on the case. He said Kel­ley’s name emerged from a vic­tim’s fa­ther who gave the in­for­ma­tion to po­lice af­ter the child said “Greg” was the per­pe­tra­tor.

On Wed­nes­day, Dai­ley took cen­ter stage in the case as lawyers scru­ti­nized his work. When they asked why he never in­ves­ti­gated other sus­pects, he said it was be­cause he be­lieved the chil­dren. They asked why he didn’t in­ter­view oth­ers in the home. He said it wasn’t nec­es­sary be­cause the chil­dren had named Greg as their abuser.

Gon­za­lez showed Dai­ley side-by-side pic­tures of McCarty and Kel­ley and asked if the chil­dren could have been con­fused. Dai­ley said he didn’t think so be­cause the two are dif­fer­ent heights and weights.

At one point, one of chil­dren said that Johnathan McCarty was in­volved in the abuse, but then said it was just Greg, tes­ti­mony showed. But Dai­ley said he didn’t in­ves­ti­gate McCarty be­cause he be­lieved the child was con­fused and mis­spoke. Dai­ley added, how­ever, that the child didn’t seem con­fused about whom his at­tacker was.

“He got some things con­fused,” Dai­ley said.

“But not that,” Gon­za­lez said.

“Not that,” Dai­ley an­swered.

Dai­ley also came un­der fire for delet­ing emails between him­self and a Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices in­ves­ti­ga­tor about the case be­cause “I didn’t think they con­tained any ev­i­den­tiary value.”

Delet­ing the emails was a vi­o­la­tion of Cedar Park Po­lice Depart­ment pol­icy that Dai­ley said he later re­gret­ted.

Dai­ley said he would change noth­ing about his work. In to­tal, he es­ti­mated that he spent a cou­ple of months on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Through­out Dai­ley’s tes­ti­mony, Kel­ley’s sup­port­ers sighed and qui­etly grum­bled their dis­taste for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The lazi­ness by the Cedar Park Po­lice Depart­ment, and in par­tic­u­lar Chris Dai­ley, is ap­palling,” Kel­ley sup­porter Jake Bry­don said out­side the court­room.

Sev­eral dozen sup­port­ers filed into the court­room. Dan and Fran Keller — who were re­cently deemed in­no­cent of child sex abuse crimes for which they spent more than 20 years in prison — were in the au­di­ence to sup­port Kel­ley.

Dick said af­ter the hearing that Dai­ley’s tes­ti­mony was the “most en­light­en­ing” of the day. He de­clined to com­ment fur­ther.

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Greg Kel­ley, con­victed in 2014 of su­per ag­gra­vated sex­ual abuse against a 4-year-old boy, walks into court Wed­nes­day on the first day of an ex­pected three-day hearing.

Greg Kel­ley Johnathan McCarty De­tec­tive Chris Dai­ley, shown side-by-side pic­tures of Kel­ley and McCarty, said he didn’t think the chil­dren were con­fused.

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Fran and Dan Keller — who were re­cently deemed in­no­cent of child sex abuse crimes for which they spent more than 20 years in prison — were at the hearing to sup­port Greg Kel­ley.

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