Photo Story: Five Testify after Opening Statements in Pat Kelly Trial

Sheriff Pat Kelly reads a note passed to him following the opening statements of his trial. Indicted on 25 counts last January, Kelly is facing more than 40 years in prison with charges including theft in office, money laundering, tampering with records, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)

Judge Patrica A. Cosgrove looks on as Special Prosecutor James C. Roberts delivers opening statements to members of the jury on Wednesday morning. Assisted by Special Prosecutors Melissa A. Schiffel and William Schenck, the prosecution emphasized that Kelly “…stole more than $4000 under lockbox, lied under oath, and destroyed records to hide what he did.” The prosecution attempted to prove Kelly amassed unnecessary and improperly documented meal expenditures and are calling into question the transparency of his campaign and other finances. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)


Bureau of Criminal Investigations Special Agent Mike Trout presents evidence to jurors. Trout served Kelly three warrants on two occasions to search his home and office. In addition to an investigation of Kelly’s alleged mishandling of Sheriff’s Department property sold at McKee scrapyard, Trout testified that Kelly neglected to collect compensation, fingerprints and photos for concealed carry permits issued to his family, among others. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)

Defense attorney Scott Wood cross-examines Trout during Wednesday’s proceedings. Wood did not directly deny all of the allegations against his client, claiming that inconsistencies could happen to anyone with a tenure as long as Kelly’s. In his opening statements, Scott claimed, “If you spent years, if you spend countless man hours… you’re gonna find mistakes. You’re gonna find Sheriff Kelly is human.” (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)

Detective Doug Crites of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office was one of the five to testify against Kelly on Wednesday. Crites was tasked with bringing inmates with special privileges (called “trustees”) from Southeast Ohio Regional Jail to a storage facility on the Athens County Fairgrounds where the trustees loaded various items on a truck to be sold at McKee scrapyard. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)

George Wilson looks at an image of the Lancaster Street facility where the Sheriff’s Department holds records. Wilson testified that under the instruction of Kelly, he and another trustee disposed of at least six dump trucks of files and evidence and on one occasion disposed of files at Kelly’s office before being told to remove them from the truck and deliver them to Lancaster Street. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)

Peggy McKee of McKee Auto Parts and Recycling strengthened testimony of Crites and Wilson, verifying that on eight instances Kelly received cash payment and signed off on scrap metal or vehicles brought to McKee by either Kelly or her son. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)


Denise Blair, the Senior Audit Manager of the State Auditor’s Office, was the final prosecution witness for Wednesday’s proceedings. After Kelly presented Blair with a receipt purported to cover a meal for the Narcotics Enforcement Team, Blair noticed items purchased included kid’s meals and drinks. After being confronted by Blair, Kelly revised his explanation by claiming it was a meal for law enforcement officers and their families following an Athens County parade in late March. In her testimony, Blair also described an incident where Kelly purchased vehicle parts with a fund set aside for extenuating circumstances like prolonged criminal cases or investigations. The parts delivered to Kelly were transported without expedited shipping from California, implying no emergency to necessitate their purchase. In her audits, Blair never found reciepts for Sheriff’s Department property sold to McKee Auto Parts. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek)

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