More Arrests Made In Connection With Cushing Murder - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/25/05 - Cushing

More Arrests Made In Connection With Cushing Murder

by Donna McCollum

Topping our news is the latest information on the murder of James Kelly. On Sunday, while he slept he was shot in the head with a rifle. Monday night two fifteen year old boys and Kelly's sixteen year old step daughter were arrested for the murder. Tuesday two adults were arrested. They are Dallas Christian, 23, the step daughter's boyfriend and Billy Loftin Junior, 26. Both men are from Nacogdoches.

Sheriff Thomas Kerss is saying little about a motive. He did confirm that deputies answered a family disturbance call recently at the Kelly's home off Hiway 204, west of Cushing. "We had been called to the residence in the past and in recent weeks we worked a family violence incident involving the mother and the daughter in which the daughter was the aggressor," said Kerss.

That step daughter and the two boys are in a Gregg County Detention Center. The two adults are in the Nacogdoches County Jail. Kerss says more interviews will be conducted. The sheriff has spent days interviewing suspects. He said, "The murder was obviously an act that was planned for, prepared for and not spontaneous."

James Kelly's funeral services will be held on Thursday. Also this week the detention hearings for the three juveniles will be conducted. No decision yet if attempts will be made to certify them as adults.

Those who knew Kelly are shocked to hear of his murder and are even more horrified to learn juveniles may have carried it out.

James Kelly was a trucker. He and his wife Marcia owned three big rigs. They worked for Bailey Bark Materials in Nacogdoches. His boss, Jeff Bailey can't believe one of his best workers is gone. "A lot of times James worked 7 days a week. He was that kind of guy. He was out trying to make his family a living. He was a good worker and a hard worker," described Bailey.

When Kelly wasn't on the road he was on the track. Drag racing was his passion. His favorite hangout was the Pine Valley Raceway, owned by the Bailey family. Bailey recalled, "We would race our cars together. We had a lot of fun drag racing."

The bailey's talked shop and racing with Kelly. Kids rarely entered into the conversation, until recently when Kelly casually mentioned his step daughter. Bill Bailey Sr. Said, "I didn't know none of them, just what James had said about having problems with her, but nothing else. I wouldn't even know if she walked up here."

Kelly himself is no stranger to criminal activity. He had been arrested numerous times, but Sheriff Thomas Kerss said after a prison sentence Kelly's focus was staying out of trouble.

Kelly's employer of over ten years said he never had a problem with the 32 year old truck driver. Jeff Bailey said, "I just couldn't imagine who would want to kill James Kelly when all he did was work."

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