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May 22, 2015 12:55 PM

Scott Kelley's lawyer asks that some charges be dismissed


LANCASTER - The lawyer for Scott Kelley is asking that witness tampering charges against him be dismissed in an international custodial interference case.

Kelley and his wife, Genevieve Kelley, are facing charges of custodial interference and witness tampering after the pair disappeared with her daughter from another marriage during a 2005 custody dispute with the biological father. They returned only last year.

Both Kelleys were arraigned earlier this month where they pleaded not guilty.

Public defender Martha Ann Hornick is asking the Coos County Superior Court to dismiss two charges of witness tampering that derive from Scott Kelley's alleged failure to return the girl for an in-patient evaluation ordered by the court as part of the original custody case.

She argued in a motion received by the court on Friday that since Kelley is not a parent or guardian that he cannot be charged with failing to bring the girl back to New Hampshire for the court-ordered evaluation. Nor can he be charged with causing her to withhold testimony or information for an official proceeding.

She argues that Kelley, as a stepfather, had no legal obligation or legal ability to present her anywhere or require her to do anything. He can't be charged with a crime if he didn't have a legal obligation to act, she said. Hornick also argues that an in-patient evaluation isn't the same as being summoned to an official "proceeding" as it's defined under the witness tampering law.

Based on those arguments, she is asking the court to dismiss the witness tampering charges. The court has yet to act on the request.

The Kelleys were arraigned May 7 in Coos County on custodial interference and witness tampering charges. They pleaded not guilty.


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