Jail administrator’s wife pleads not guilty to holding teens at gunpoint during door-to-door fundraiser

Updated: Aug. 15, 2019 at 3:48 PM CDT
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WYNNE, Ark. (WMC) - A woman accused of holding four high school students at gunpoint in Wynne, Arkansas pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

Jerri Kelly, 46, is also charged with endangering the welfare of a minor.

Police in Arkansas say they responded to a report of suspicious persons Aug. 7 at a home on Morningside Drive in Wynne. When officers arrived, they found four teenagers on the ground and Kelly standing next to them with a gun.

A spokesperson for Wynne Schools said two of the students were wearing school jerseys and all four were black.

Neighbors said the students participate in the same fundraiser each year.

Kelly was arrested Tuesday but she didn’t take a mugshot until Thursday after her hearing. Cross County Sheriff David West said she experienced a medical issue during booking and left without taking the photograph.

Mugshot of Jerri Kelly taken Aug. 15, 2019 (Source: Cross County Sheriff's Office)
Mugshot of Jerri Kelly taken Aug. 15, 2019 (Source: Cross County Sheriff's Office)

Kelly’s husband, Joe Kelly, is the Cross County Jail administrator and an employee of the sheriff’s office, but West maintained Jerri Kelly received no preferential treatment.

She pleaded not guilty to all the charges Thursday Her attorney asked to move the case to Circuit Court and the judge agreed.

The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

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