Murder trial underway for man accused of dragging deputy with car

After multiple objections, Ray Kelly agrees to representation by public defender
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 12:04 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:52 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The man charged with murder in the death of Sgt. Conley Jumper made it clear from the start that he would conduct himself as he pleased and represent himself.

Jumper, 52, died in the line of duty after a traffic stop along Interstate 85 near the White Horse Road exit on Oct. 20, 2020.

Defendant Ray Kelly showed up for trial in orange jail garb after declining to wear civilian clothing. He reluctantly entered the courtroom, requiring at least four men to carry him to his chair and repeatedly blurted out his objections to the proceedings. Court officers later rolled Kelly into the courtroom - strapped to the chair - as opening statements were set to begin.

Soliictor Walt Wilkins called Master Deputy Jesse Wasserman as the state’s first witness. Wasserman’s testimony included dash camera video and body cam footage from the traffic stop along Interstate 85. Wasserman described pulling over Kelly for speeding in his Nissan and smelling “a strong odor of marijuana” while approaching the vehicle. He testified that Kelly could not produce a driver’s license and gave him a false name.

Master Deputy Jesse Wasserman testifies about the traffic stop with Ray Kelly
Master Deputy Jesse Wasserman testifies about the traffic stop with Ray Kelly(WHNS)

The jury saw video of Kelly’s scuffle with deputies before he drove off in the Nissan and immediately crashed into an 18-wheeler. The footage also showed Conley, who had been dragged by the car and struck by the semi, lying on the interstate.

When asked whether he had any questions for the Wasserman, Kelly eventually responded that he wanted to consult 13th Circuit Public Defender Mindy Lipinski, whose representation he had previously rejected.

Lipinski said she did not feel adequately prepared for the case and asked for a mistrial so she could give the defense a fresh start, but Judge Ned Miller denied the request. Instead, he sent the jury home early to give Lipinski more time to prepare with Kelly.

The trial resumes Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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