A former Rock County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty Wednesday to domestic abuse charges in Rock County Court, but his sentence will run concurrent to one he is already serving in a related case.
Judge John Wood sentenced Keegan J. Kelly, 27, of 3506 La Mancha Drive, Janesville, to two years of probation on charges of criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct. A battery charge was dismissed.
By law, the sentence must run concurrent to one he received after a previous conviction in Sauk County, also on domestic violence charges involving the same victim in a Feb. 12 incident.
The Rock County sentence carries an extra requirement: long-term domestic violence counseling.
Kelly was convicted Aug. 5 in Sauk County of three misdemeanors: battery, intimidation of a victim and disorderly conduct for assaulting the woman in a hotel room. He was sentenced in that case to three years probation and 90 days in jail.
A felony count of strangulation/suffocation as domestic abuse was held open for four years. If he successfully completes the probation plus an additional year, the felony charge can be dismissed.
The local charges were for a Jan. 1 incident in Janesville, in which he yelled at the woman, dumped fast food on her car, punched the car window, damaged her residence and grabbed her by the arm and throat, threatening to kill her, according to the criminal complaint.
The victim addressed the court Wednesday and complained Kelly had been let out of the Sauk County Jail early.
Defense attorney Jack Hoag said Kelly performed community service in a jail program to earn a 20-day reduction.
The victim also claimed Kelly was seen buying alcohol. He is not to consume alcohol as a condition of his probation. Hoag said that is not true.
The probation recommendation was worked out with Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary, Hoag said.
Hoag noted Kelly had no prior criminal record, lost his job with the sheriff’s office and can never again work in law enforcement, and has been undergoing counseling.
Kelly has not been able to find work yet, Hoag said.
Kelly apologized and said he is “seeking faith” in church and “becoming a better man every single day. I let my emotions get the better of me that day.”
Wood said the case is “troubling. … As a law enforcement officer, you should have known better.”
The victim repeated her belief Kelly will abuse another woman in the future, but Wood said the court must consider rehabilitation.
“I believe people can change. If I didn’t, this would be a very depressing job,” Wood said.
“If he does the treatment, if he does what he’s supposed to do, not only the victim and the victim’s family will be protected, but other people in our community will hopefully be protected, as well,” Wood said.
Kelly still faces a restitution hearing. The victim is asking for $2,884 for damages to her home and car.