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Man sentenced to 12 years in prison on criminal restraint, weapons offenses

MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – A Mercer County man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on weapons offenses and a criminal restraint charges, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.

Earl Kelly, 38, of Hamilton Township was sentenced on June 8 to an aggregate 12 years in New Jersey State Prison. Judge Taylor imposed concurrent eight-year sentences for the possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and the unlawful possession of a weapon counts. Those counts are subject to the Graves Act, which makes him ineligible for parole until he has served four years of the eight-year sentence, Carroll said.

In addition, Judge Taylor imposed four years on the count of criminal restraint which will run consecutive to the eight years imposed on the unlawful possession of a weapon count, Carroll said.

On April 20, a Morris County jury found Kelly guilty of three counts following a six-day trial. he was found guilty of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and third-degree criminal restraint, Carroll said.

Kelly was acquitted on the remaining four counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual contact, one count of criminal sexual contact, one count of armed robbery, and one count of aggravated assault, Carroll said.

Evidence at trial established that on Dec. 24, 2021, Kelly met with the 19-year-old female at the Holiday Inn in Parsippany-troy Hills. he restrained the victim inside the room for a period of time while he was armed with a handgun. Following an investigation, he was apprehended by members of the Edison Police Department on Jan. 7, 2022, Carroll said.

Prosecutor Carroll thanked and acknowledge the agencies that participated in the investigation that led to the guilty verdict, including the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Edison Police Department, the Hamilton Township Police Department, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, which worked together to investigate this incident leading to the guilty verdict. The Prosecutor would also like to thank former-Assistant Prosecutor Vanessa Craveiro, Assistant Prosecutor Lucas J. Gatti, Detective Jenna Powers, former-MCPO Detective Thomas Laird, and all others who contributed to the investigation and successful prosecution in this case.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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