Man found guilty of attempted murder of police officers in 2018 standoff at Fremont hotel

Crime

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – On Thursday, a Steuben Superior Court jury found 39-year-old Joshua A. Kelley guilty of a number of charges including attempted murder of police officers during a standoff with police in 2018.

He was found guilty of:

Photo courtesy of the Steuben County Prosecuting Attorney
  • Two counts of Attempted Murder of police officers
  • Two counts of Possession of Methamphetamine While in Possession of a Handgun
  • Manufacturing Methamphetamine
  • Pointing a Loaded Firearm at a police officer
  • Theft of Firearm
  • Possession of a Handgun without a License

On June 14, 2018 around 10:30 a.m., the DeKalb County Central Communications received a 911 call from a woman whispering, “I am at the Travelers Inn and there is a dead girl in the bathroom,” the probable cause affidavit said. The caller then hung up. A second call came in minutes later from the same woman who said, “At the Travelers Inn in Fremont. There is a dead girl in the bathroom.”

Officers responded to 35 W. S.R. 120, made their way to room 12 and saw that the bathroom door was shut, the affidavit said. When the door was opened, officers were confronted by a man with a handgun. One officer said he saw the man pointing the gun at his face.

The affidavit said that officers retreated and were fired upon by the man.

Officers initially thought the man was Clinen McDonald because the room was registered to him. Due to this, Emergency Response Teams made a perimeter around the hotel and called in hostage negotiators, the affidavit said. The negotiators made contact with the man inside the room who identified himself as Joshua Kelley.

During the standoff, the affidavit said officers deployed pepper gas into the room twice. After several hours, Kelley came out of the room and was taken into custody. He was treated at the scene for exposure to the pepper gas.

In an interview with police, Kelley said his truck at the hotel was where he had been manufacturing methamphetamine and there was an active one pot meth lab in the truck, the affidavit said. He also admitted to pointing a .380 at an officers head and firing shots out the front window when pepper gas was thrown into the room.

On Thursday, the 12-person (7 women and 5 men) jury also found Kelley guilty of several sentencing enhancements, according to the Steuben County Prosecuting Attorney. They include: three counts of Using a Firearm Against a Law Enforcement Officer and of being a Habitual Offender.

Over the course of four days, jurors heard testimony from over 20 witnesses from the state. The Steuben County Prosecuting Attorney said Kelley testified on his own behalf late Wednesday afternoon. The jury deliberated just under three hours before finding Kelley guilty on all charges.

The Steuben County Prosecuting Attorney said Kelley faces up to:

  • 40 years for each Attempted Murder
  • 12 years for Manufacturing Methamphetamine
  • Six years for each Possession of Methamphetamine While in Possession of a Firearm
  • Two and a half years for the Pointing a Loaded Firearm and Theft of a Firearm
  • One year for the Possession of a Handgun without a License
  • He also faces up to 20 years each on four additional sentence enhancement convictions

A sentencing hearing has been set for Oct. 7.

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