Cushing Woman Convicted in Murder-for-Hire Scheme - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/05/06 - Nacogdoches

Cushing Woman Convicted in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

by Ramonica R. Jones

"I don't believe there's enough in place to handle somebody that's committed a crime of this magnitude," said Nacogdoches County District Attorney Stephanie Stephens. "We have no greater crime in our penal system than capital murder."

Not long after James Kelly was murdered, Stephens didn't think there was a punishment severe enough for Marcia Kelly, but Friday, jurors sentenced Kelly to life in prison for the capital murder of her husband. All week, her friends and family sat behind her during her trial in a crowded courtroom.

Jennifer Edwards said, "I believe she shouldn't be guilty because I was around her 24/7 and I never heard her say anything."

But evidence continued to build up against Marcia Kelly. Thursday jurors listened to a four-hour statement she made to authorities about the night her husband was murdered. During the taped interview with a Texas Ranger, Kelly tearfully said she didn't remember conversations she'd had with several people about killing her husband. Kelly also denied knowing her husband was even going to be killed.

We tried to get an interview with Marcia Kelly's family before the verdict was announced, they refused, saying once Kelly was cleared of the charges, she could do the interview herself. Instead, she's headed to the penitentiary.

Also charged with her husband's capital murder are two 15-year-old boys, his 16-year-old step daughter, the stepdaughter's 23-year-old boyfriend, Dallas Christian, and 26-year-old Billy Loftin, Jr.

Marcia Kelly promised cash and gifts in exchange for the death of her husband. James Kelly was shot in the face while he slept at his home in Cushing.

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