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21-year-old to spend 40 years in prison for killing cousin

Jackson County resident, 21-year-old Dexter Mendoza Kelley, pled guilty on April 5, 2018, to second-degree murder for killing his 16-year-old cousin, Cliff Allyn.  The murder occurred at their grandmother’s home in Vancleave between March 30-31, 2016.  The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case. 

“A family was torn apart because of the actions of this defendant,” said Assistant District Attorney Cherie Wade. “Sixteen-year-old Cliff Allyn was taken too soon from his family, and now Mr. Kelley will spend forty years in prison because of his unconscionable act.  While no amount of jail time will fill the void of the loss of Cliff, the victim’s family is satisfied with the result in court today.  I commend the work of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, as their investigation helped to resolve this case without having the families suffer the additional trauma of a trial.”

Judge Dale Harkey sentenced Kelley to the maximum penalty of 40 years to serve, day for day, in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, a fine in the amount of $2,000, all costs of court, and $250 to the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund. 

“This forty-year, day for day sentence puts this defendant in jail until he is 60 years old,” said District Attorney Tony Lawrence. “He will essentially spend the rest of his life in prison for taking his cousin’s life.  He killed Cliff for no reason and then hid it from his family and law enforcement.  I hope that this sentence will deter the rise in violence committed by our youth and that they will know that committing senseless acts of violence will not be tolerated.”

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