Appeals court upholds Kelley verdict

Published 1:09 am Saturday, January 17, 2009

The 2007 conviction of a former Andalusia policeman who sexually abused two local women was upheld Friday by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

Joel Clayton Kelley was tried in March 2007 and sentenced to two life sentences for sexual torturing, sodomizing and assaulting his two victims. He was indicted in 2005 by the Covington County grand jury and had been held in isolation until his 2007 trial. Clayton has been held in the Limestone Correctional Facility since his conviction.

District Attorney Greg Gambril said anyone convicted of a felonious crime has a constitutional right to an appeal in any criminal case; however, only those sentenced to death for their crimes have the right for an automatic appeal.

“I commend the Attorney General’s office for their prosecution of the case and for their work on the appeal,” he said. “It is a conviction that is very important to the victims’ families, as well as to the community.”

Kelley could be eligible for parole in as little as 10 years, Gambril said.