From Doyle Kelley’s appeal: On the morning of September 26, 1990, the body of Diana Kelley (Diana) was found in her car on a Joplin, Missouri, parking lot.2 Defendant, who was then Diana’s husband, had filed a missing person report concerning Diana before her body was found. Defendant told the police that he and Diana had been separated for about two weeks but had agreed to meet at 9:00 p.m. the night before her body was found. According to Defendant, she did not meet with him as scheduled. Later, Defendant said that he called Diana’s mother twice asking for Diana on the night of September 25.
Virginia Stepp (Mrs. Stepp), Diana’s mother, confirmed that Defendant called twice on the night of September 25. She also told police that Diana was afraid of Defendant and had been living at Mrs. Stepp’s home for two weeks before her death. Mrs. Stepp said she saw Defendant at his home between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. on September 26.
Dr. James Habermann conducted the initial autopsy of Diana’s body. Among other findings, Dr. Habermann noted several small areas of hemorrhage on Diana’s face and neck. Dr. Habermann found that Diana died of respiratory failure. However, he could not detect if she died of strangulation.
Debra Stout, a friend of Diana’s, testified that Diana visited in Stout’s home on the evening before she died. During that visit, which occurred around 5:00 p.m., Stout saw that Diana was wearing a gold chain and a St. Christopher medal.
Two days after Diana’s death, Stout was visiting in Defendant’s home. While she was there, Defendant took Diana’s gold chain and St. Christopher medal to the basement and “smashed it, I believe with a hammer.” Stout was asked if Defendant had an explanation about where he had gotten the jewelry. She answered that Defendant said it had been given to him by the police or someone at the mortuary.
Policemen testified that the chain and medal were not at the murder scene when they investigated. Mrs. Stepp testified that she was present when mortuary employees gave Diana’s jewelry to Defendant. At the time, Mrs. Stepp selected a ring to put on Diana’s hand. She did not, however, see a St. Christopher medal among the items given to Defendant.
During his testimony, Defendant admitted that a few days after Diana’s death, he had her St. Christopher medal. He also admitted that he smashed the medal and then threw it away. Defendant claimed that someone at the mortuary had given him this item of jewelry.
In 1991, Defendant was married to Christy Kelley (Christy).3 In March 1993, Christy and Defendant separated. Defendant and Christy arranged to meet on April 24, 1993, to exchange items of property. Witnesses saw Christy and Defendant on the parking lot of Christy’s apartment during the afternoon of April 24. One witness saw Defendant alone at Christy’s apartment building that afternoon.
On the evening of April 25, Christy’s family contacted the Joplin police department. They requested that the police check on Christy since she was several hours overdue to pick up her daughter. Joplin police officers forcibly entered Christy’s apartment and found her body floating face down in the bathtub.
Dr. Darrell Swank performed an autopsy on Christy’s body. Among other findings, Dr. Swank said that Christy had a deep laceration on her forehead caused by blunt force trauma, vomitus in her nose and mouth, and edema in her lungs. Dr. Swank concluded that Christy’s death was caused by drowning.
On August 25, 1993, the body of Diana was exhumed. At this time Dr. Jill Gould conducted autopsies of both Diana and Christy. She found the ligament from Diana’s hyoid bone had been pulled apart and discovered a bruise on the back of Diana’s esophagus. Dr. Gould concluded that Diana’s death was caused by soft ligature strangulation. During Dr. Gould’s autopsy of Christy’s body, she found several bruises in various locations. Dr. Gould suggested that these bruises were caused by blunt impact from multiple directions, which would have been inconsistent with a fall in the bathtub. Dr. Gould confirmed Dr. Swank’s finding that drowning was the cause of Christy’s death.
While Defendant was in the Jasper County jail awaiting trial, Lonnie Bell (Bell) was also an inmate in that facility. For approximately three days in early June 1994, Bell was in the same area of the jail as Defendant. Bell testified that Defendant admitted killing both Diana and Christy by strangling them.
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State of Missouri v Doyle Kelley 1997
Murderpedia: Doyle Kelley
Most Evil: Deceptive Killers
DOC Id 511416
Offender Name Doyle Kelley
Date of Birth 02/07/1959
Height/Weight 5’7″ / 180
Hair/Eyes Brown /Blue
Assigned Location Crossroads Correctional Center
Address 1115 East Pence Road, Cameron, MO 64429
Assigned Officer Phone Number (816) 632-2727
Sentence Summary Life W/O Parole (Life W/O, Life W/O CC)
Active Offenses MURDER 1ST DEGREE(2 CTS)
Completed Offenses Completed sentence not found
Aliases Doyle A Kelley; Doyle A Kelley; Doyle Kelley; Doyle A Kelley; Doyle Kelley
Filed under: crime, Domestic Violence, murder, murder in the 20th Century, Psycho for Love | Tagged: 1990, 1993, Christy Kelley, Diana Kelley, Doyle Kelley, homicide, Missouri, Psycho for Love, spousal murder, strangulation | Leave a comment »