Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Devin P. Kelley, Sutherland Shooting Suspect, Broke Infant Stepson's Skull and Assaulted Wife

Following-up from earlier, "Devin P. Kelley, Sutherland Shooting Suspect, Once Escaped From Mental Health Facility."

This was one very bad person. Extremely bad. Evil.

At the New York Times, "In 2012 Assault, Texas Gunman Broke Skull of Infant Stepson":

NEW BRAUNFELS, Tex. — He beat his wife, cracked his toddler stepson’s skull and was kicked out of the military. He drove away friends, drew attention from the police and abused his dog. Before Devin P. Kelley entered a rural Texas church with a military-style rifle, killing at least 26 people on Sunday, he led a deeply troubled life in which few in his path escaped unscathed.

In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Mr. Kelley was charged with assault, according to Air Force records, which said he had repeatedly struck, kicked and choked his first wife beginning just months into their marriage, and hit his stepson’s head with what the Air Force described as “a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm.”

“He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull,” said Don Christensen, a retired colonel who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force, adding, “He pled to intentionally doing it.”

Prosecutors withdrew several other charges as part of their plea agreement with Mr. Kelley, including allegations that he repeatedly pointed a loaded gun at his wife.

He was ultimately sentenced in November that year to 12 months’ confinement and reduction to the lowest possible rank. His final duty title was “prisoner.”

His first wife, Tessa Kelley, divorced him while he was confined and was awarded the couple’s only four household items of value: a television, an Xbox, a wedding ring and a revolver.

After his confinement, Mr. Kelley was forced out of the military with a bad conduct discharge. The Air Force said the conviction should have barred Mr. Kelley from owning any guns. Instead, law enforcement officials say, he bought several.

Friends from New Braunfels, Tex., where he went to high school, expressed shock in the aftermath of the shooting, remembering how Mr. Kelley was a friendly, if awkward, teenager who grew up active in his church. His senior yearbook photo shows him smiling, with untamed hair and a Hollister T-shirt. But in recent years, friends said, he grew so dark that many unfriended him on Facebook.

“I had always known there was something off about him. But he wasn’t always a ‘psychopath,’” a longtime friend, Courtney Kleiber, posted on Facebook on Sunday. “We had a lot of good times together. Over the years we all saw him change into something that he wasn’t. To be completely honest, I’m really not surprised this happened, and I don’t think anyone who knew him is very surprised either.”

Instead of straightening out after his bad conduct discharge, Mr. Kelley began a long downward slide that culminated in the shooting Sunday.

After getting out of confinement, Mr. Kelley moved into a barn at his parents’ house, which they had converted into an apartment, according to the local sheriff’s office records.

During the next two years, he was investigated twice for abusing women. The authorities in Comal County, which includes Mr. Kelley’s hometown New Braunfels, released records on Monday that showed he had been the subject of an investigation for sexual assault and rape in 2013.

The investigation ended without the filing of any charges — Mr. Kelley’s only skirmishes in the local courts were traffic violations...