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The Journal Gazette

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Saturday, September 28, 2019 1:00 am

70 years given in shooting death

Defendant says he plans appeal

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

Antoine Kelley Jr. was ordered Friday to spend the next 70 years behind bars for shooting a man to death in a Harrison Street home in April.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced Kelley to 60 years in prison for murder and an additional 10 years for using a gun during the crime. A jury found Kelley guilty in August.

Kelley, however, maintained Friday he wasn't guilty of murder, saying the entire story is “deeper than what witnesses said.” He said he will appeal the conviction.

During Kelley's three-day trial, defense attorney John Watkins argued Kelley believed his life was threatened and defended himself.

Kelley, 28, shot Darius McMorris four times inside a house on South Harrison Street. Police found McMorris, 23, face down in a bathtub April 1.

Kelley had driven with McMorris and three other men to Fort Wayne from Chicago to “hit a lick,” a slang term that can refer to robbery, a probable cause affidavit alleges.

Witnesses told police Kelley might have been “tweaking on drugs” and was acting strangely before the shooting. A woman identified as “Witness 7” in a probable cause affidavit, told police another witness said Kelley believed McMorris had “taken him for $300.”

Kelley was arrested April 12 in Tennessee. 

Kelley has three misdemeanor and five felony convictions, prosecutors said.

jchapman@jg.net