Kai Kelly, thirteen-year, accused of executing his dad, living with his body for days

Categories: Colorado Crimes

kai.kelly.house.jpg
The house where Joseph Kelly Jr. died. More photos and a video below.
When a juvenile commits a crime, the press typically refrains from naming him. But some of the most prominent mainstream news agencies are identifying thirteen-year-old Kai Kelly, likely due to the shocking nature of his alleged crime and the fact that he's been formally charged with first-degree murder.

The teen is accused of executing his father, Joseph Kelly Jr., and living with the body for days. And while a motive hasn't been formally established, one likely reason is an upcoming hearing involving graffiti.

eco.transit.jpg
ECO Transit in Eagle County, where Joseph Kelly Jr. worked.
No photos of either Kai or Joseph have surfaced since news of the tragedy broke -- a surprise in this age of social media, where so many of our lives are documented online for all the world to see.

Thus far, the main visual information available involves locations such as ECO Transit, the Eagle County public works operation at which Joseph was employed -- it's seen in the photo above -- and St. Claire of Assisi school in Edwards, which Kai attended.

st.claire.of.assisi.edwards.jpg
A photo from the St. Claire of Assisi website.
And then there's the Kelly home in Gypsum, seen in the image at the top of the post, culled from 7News coverage, as well as in this pic, showing a law-enforcement notice on the door -- an indication that the residence is regarded to be a crime scene.

kai.kelly.house.2.jpg
The front door of the Kelly home in Gypsum.
What happened there?

On Monday, May 5, according to the Vail Daily, a member of the sheriff's department was contacted by a staffer at ECO Transit.

The caller was concerned about Joseph, who'd been absent for the better part of a week. In the interim, his son, Kai, had phoned to say his dad was ill and wouldn't be coming in -- but so much time had passed that Joseph's co-workers had grown concerned and requested a welfare check.

The sheriff's department had reason to wonder about Joseph's whereabouts, too. He'd been scheduled for an April 30 meeting to discuss a graffiti case under investigation, with Kai among the reported targets.

Authorities went to the Kelly's home in Gypsum and discovered Joseph's body in an office area.

kara.bettis.eagle.county.coroner.jpg
Eagle County coroner Kara Bettis.
Eagle County coroner Kara Bettis, speaking at a news conference covered by the Daily, revealed that Joseph had been shot twice in the head. One bullet entered from behind, with the shot fired at a distance, while the second was at close range directly into the temple. The weapon is said to have been a .22 caliber rifle.

The time of death hasn't been pinpointed precisely, but Bettis says Joseph had clearly expired days earlier. The Daily notes that his body had begun to "decompose and stink," making the presumption that Kai had been living in the house during this period all the more chilling.

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Eagle County Sheriff Joseph Hoy.
When youths commit the most serious crimes, officials are frequently under pressure to charge them as adults. Note the speculation about whether the thirteen-year-old Burlington boy who murdered parents Charles and Marilyn Long back in 2011 would face adult justice. In that case, the teen was eventually convicted as a juvenile due in part to his emotional immaturity; he's said to have been playing in a sandpit shortly before the killings.

When it comes to Kai, however, Eagle County District Attorney Bruce Brown, who's charged the boy with murder, is already downplaying such speculation. In his words, "This is a young child, so we would be very reluctant to charge him as an adult. We haven't even finished our investigation. Once you get past the questions of what happened, you get to why it happened."

Look below to see 7News coverage of the case.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa September 2011: "13-year-old killer of parents Charles & Marilyn Long played in sandpit shortly before attack."

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35 comments
nadinel_007
nadinel_007

Circle of abuse

Understanding the cycle of abuse:Humiliations, spankings and beatings, slaps in the face, betrayal, sexual exploitation, derision, neglect, etc. are all forms of mistreatment, because they injure the integrity and dignity of a child, even if their consequences are not visible right away.

However, as adults, most abused children will suffer from these injuries… ***AND make others suffer as well.

By Alice Miller, Ph.D.:

http://www.alice-miller.com/index_en.php

http://www.pic.twitter.com/eaDPnawiv9

Ronaldo Maestas
Ronaldo Maestas

Not that disturbing this society is raising its children to be sociopaths everyone is a victim no one is responsible for there own actions I see it every day

Kris Herzberger Potter
Kris Herzberger Potter

Exactly Reannah..........what sane person would live with their dead fathers body......... He's not sane and probably should not be tried as an adult.

Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark

Remember Lizzie Borden? Yeah this kind of thing has been going on for some time, all is not lost

Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark

people over react when this happens, like you said not all kids are like this we just have 24 hours of new coverage these days this stuff has been going on for centuries

Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark

that will teach parents to meddle in their kids affairs! what a mess........

Kent Hansen
Kent Hansen

right around the corner from my house.

Isaac Loya
Isaac Loya

Fuckn shit balls! What's this world coming to?

LeAnn Nuss Lovato
LeAnn Nuss Lovato

I think the fact that he lived with the body so long shows his total lack of maturity and suggests maybe he shouldn't be tried as an adult. An adult murderer formulates at least an outline of a plan, including what to do with the body afterwards. A dumb, fucked up kid kills someone and then lives with the body for days because they're unable to figure out what else to do. Besides, before everyone jumps on the "tried as an adult" bandwagon, there are A LOT of details that need to be ironed out. Once motive is discovered, then maybe we can all judge.

Chad Roth
Chad Roth

and then there was a hash explosion.

Reannah Zacharias
Reannah Zacharias

That honestly disgusts me. No matter what the father did to him. The child should be charged as an adult. You know the difference between right and wrong at 13. And what sane person would live with their dead fathers body right next to them?

Joni Lee Lefler
Joni Lee Lefler

No One KNOWS WHAT happened BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!!! I Don't blame the Kid!!!

Robin Pannell
Robin Pannell

Not all teenagers are scary. I have a really great one. It is all in how you raise them. Many of my kid's friends are not scary either. I wish people would not stereotype all teenagers to be bad or scary because they are teenagers. You can't compare a murder to all teenagers because they are in no way related. This kid obviously had problems and was not mentally stable if he lived with the decomposing body of his father. He cannot be compared to all teens because not all teens would do that.

Leigh Ackerman
Leigh Ackerman

I'm sorry but the fact he lived with this body for over a week? He should be tried as an adult

A Lisha Kue
A Lisha Kue

Anything could have been going on in that house that the kid couldn't take it anymore or maybe the kid is mentally ill who knows ?!?!

anonymous
anonymous

I know Kai, Joe and Lynn (the mother- notice there isn't a lot mentioned about her, but there will be).  There is more to learn about this story.  The real tragedy is that Kai is a young man that had a bright future.  He's incredibly smart, kind and there are extenuating circumstances.  Please wait before you condemn a child.  For anyone that knew Joe and Kai, this is shocking.  This is not your normal trouble maker from a bad family, it's the opposite and its more tragic because of that. 

jjcain580
jjcain580

Tried as an adult and allowed to plead insanity? I mean, "what sane person would live with their dead father's body right next to them?"

Probably doesn't matter if he's an "insane" kid or an "insane" adult...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

HipTip: Children are NOT Adults


Ipso facto.

Justin_Khase
Justin_Khase

Since according to you "No One KNOWS WHAT happened BEHIND CLOSED DOORS!!!" why is the kid beyond suspicion ???

Justin_Khase
Justin_Khase

"All in how you raise them" ??? Sometimes, no matter how hard one tries - you just can't polish a turd.

anonymous
anonymous

I think that just shows that he didn't hide the body.  He couldn't deal with what had happened, whatever it was.  Wait before you judge a child.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... your avatar photo is scary.

nadinel_007
nadinel_007

@anonymous He's lucky to have you post here.  Thank you.


I hope the mom or his family sue the press for publishing his name.


I would totally sign that petition.


.

Justin_Khase
Justin_Khase

Your opinion carries even less weight than your moniker. Either stand up with your opinions or sit down & stfu.

Justin_Khase
Justin_Khase

What's even scarier is that you're a top commenter Mr. DonkeyHoto.

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