YAVAPAI COUNTY JURY FINDS DRIVER GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, CRIMINAL DAMAGE AND LEAVING THE SCENE OF INJURY ACCIDENT
On Tuesday, July 19, a Yavapai County jury found Jared Neil Kelly, 41, of Nixon, NV, guilty of Aggravated Assault, Criminal Damage, and Leaving the Scene of an Injury Accident.
The charges stem from a vehicular collision that occurred on the afternoon of January 21, 2019, in the area of State Route 260 and East Prairie Lane. When the Cottonwood Police Department responded to the scene, they observed two vehicles that had come to rest up the steep dirt embankments on either side of the highway approximately 400 feet away from the estimated area of impact. Based upon this distance, the crash scene, and extensive damage to both vehicles, it was estimated Kelly was travelling approximately 80 mph in a posted 45 mph zone when he rear-ended the victim’s jeep. The driver of the jeep, a 74-year-old woman, sustained serious injuries and had to be extracted from the vehicle and flown to the hospital.
The other vehicle, a Dodge sedan, was located on the east side of the roadway on a hillside and found to be empty. Tracks were identified leading from the abandoned vehicle to the top of the hillside and into the nearby neighborhood. A search of the neighborhood was unsuccessful. Officers located multiple indicia of the registered owner, Jared Kelly, inside the car, along with an open box of beer. Also found on the driver’s side door was wet blood along with a blood trail from the car and away from the scene. Multiple attempts were made to located Mr. Kelly but were unsuccessful. He was eventually located the following day after he was sited at a residence, miles away from the accident scene. He was dirty, his clothes were in disarray, and he had dried blood on his face. Kelly subsequently admitted to his involvement in the collision and that he fled the scene.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 29, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. before the Honorable Michael R. Bluff of the Yavapai County Superior Court. Yavapai County Attorney’s Office is asking that Kelly be sentenced to 11 years in the Department of Corrections. According to County Attorney Sheila Polk, “This is yet another case of the tragic consequences that result when a person consumes alcohol or drugs and makes the decision to get behind the wheel of a car. Making matters worse, this offender fled the scene.” She continued, “We are grateful to the Cottonwood Police Department for their investigation and to the jury for holding Kelly accountable.”