Groveton man responsible for stabbing at Lufkin Lanes ditches sentencing hearing

Brian Kelley (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Brian Kelley (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Judge Barry Bryan of Angelina County's 217 Judicial District Court will be issuing an arrest warrant for a Groveton man who stabbed another man during a racially charged melee at Lufkin Lanes in April 2012.

Brian Keith Kelley, 26, was supposed to appear in Bryan's court Monday morning for a sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in April, and the judge ordered a pre-sentencing hearing.

Prosecuting attorney Elmer Beckworth said the judge issued a warrant for Kelley's arrest because no reason was given for why he did not show up at the hearing.

Officers with the Live Oak Police Department arrested Kelley on May 1, 2012, and charged him with aggravated assault.

Lufkin Police spokesman Det. J.B. Smith gave the Trinity County Sheriff's Office credit for the arrest. Smith said the LPD requested the office locate and arrest Kelley after believing he was there. However, the office linked Kelley to an address in Live Oak. Live Oak Police arrested him shortly thereafter.

Police requested the warrant following the investigation into an April 21, 2012 confrontation between two groups of people which ended in one man being stabbed in the throat.

According to the police report, officers were dispatched to a disturbance involving a stabbing in the 900 block of South Chestnut Street around midnight, Saturday, April 21, 2012. While en route to the scene, officers were advised that possible gunshots had been fired. When they arrived on the scene, officers were told the suspects had just left the scene. The vehicle described to officers was located by another responding officer just a short distance away, and it was stopped.

Inside the bowling alley, officers found the victim with an apparent stab wound to the neck. Officers secured the scene, and the victim was transported to Woodland Heights Hospital by Lufkin Fire Department EMS.

Officers gathered from victim and witness statements at the scene that an argument erupted between two groups of intoxicated people over a racial comment that was made by someone in one of the groups. The verbal argument escalated into a physical altercation out in the parking lot. Officers say it was reported that it took everyone several seconds to realize that the victim had been stabbed to the front left of his throat during the confrontation.

Preliminary investigation at the scene revealed that a handgun had been displayed after the stabbing had been discovered. However, no shots were fired.

At the time of report, the victim was to taken by Life Flight to Hermann Hospital in Houston. The two people in the vehicle that were stopped leaving the scene are believed to be suspects involved in this incident. They were both arrested on unrelated charges. The case is being investigated by detectives and further information will be released pending that investigation.

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