A Hephzibah man facing vehicular homicide and injury charges has been involved in a previous fatal racing crash, a prosecutor said Monday.
At a bond hearing in Richmond County Superior Court for Rodney Kelly, 26, Assistant District Attorney Garon Muller said that about five years ago, Kelly had his 3-year-old nephew in the car when he crashed while racing in Jefferson County, killing the child.
No charges were ever filed against Kelly in that incident, which defense attorney Scott Connell said was an accident.
Kelly is under indictment in Richmond County in connection with a July 28 wreck in the 2900 block of Ulm Road that left two people dead and a third injured.
Muller said investigators believe that Kelly was racing Kyterian Jones, 26, when Jones lost control of his motorcycle and hit two pedestrians, killing himself and 23-year-old Marcus Kelly. Jerome Gilmore, 17, suffered a broken leg in the crash.
Investigators believe the drivers were traveling about 80 mph on the residential street with a posted speed limit of 35 mph, Muller said.
After a witness came forward with information, investigators searched for Kelly’s powder-blue Monte Carlo and found it in Jefferson County with flattened tires. Kelly told officers that he hadn’t driven the car in several months, Muller said.
Connell said Monday that he has spoken with at least two witnesses who said Kelly wasn’t driving the vehicle in the race. Kelly, a high school graduate, doesn’t have any criminal history, Connell said.
Judge James G. Blanchard Jr., who is assigned to Kelly’s case, took the bond request under advisement.