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Convicted murderer spent year out of prison and unaccounted for, records show

Updated February 20, 2024 - 12:26 pm

A state inmate serving a life sentence for a 1996 murder spent nearly a year out of custody until the Department of Corrections noticed he was unaccounted for, according to court records.

Jeremy Kelly had been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after he and two other men were convicted of the 1996 fatal shooting of 47-year-old Terry Dixon during a robbery-turned-murder, court records show. He had been released on parole in 2016, but was picked up on a federal weapons and drug charge two years later.

Kelly, now 43, was set to be released from federal custody in June 2022. But instead of returning him to the Department of Corrections for the murder sentence he had not finished serving, the federal Bureau of Prisons released him to the streets, a prosecutor with the Nevada attorney general’s office wrote in court documents.

It took over a year for the Department of Corrections to ask the attorney general’s office to help request a warrant for Kelly’s arrest. An application for a fugitive warrant was filed in District Court on Jan. 19, 11 days before Kelly was set to appear for a parole hearing, records show.

At the time the warrant was requested, prosecutors wrote that Kelly’s whereabouts were “currently unknown.” He was arrested again on Feb. 16 and booked into the Clark County Detention Center, court records show.

According to court minutes from a hearing on Jan. 25, a prosecutor told District Judge Jacqueline Bluth that the Department of Corrections did not release that Kelly had not been returned to state custody until officials were “looking for the Defendant’s location for his parole hearing.”

The prosecutors wrote in the application for the fugitive warrant that before Kelly was released from federal custody, the Bureau of Prisons had contacted the Clark County Detention Center, which is operated by the Metropolitan Police Department, but the jail said “they did not need him back.”

“The BOP did not contact the (Department of Corrections) and the (Department of Corrections) did not place a hold with the BOP for Kelly,” according to the warrant.

It was unclear why the Department of Corrections did not place the proper hold with the federal agency. Neither the Bureau of Prisons nor the Department of Corrections responded to a request for comment on Monday.

Kelly was 15 when Dixon was shot in the head during a robbery in June 1996, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has previously reported. Prosecutors had argued during trial that Kelly was the likely gunman and had stolen the murder weapon from a neighbor several days before the shooting.

Following his release on parole in 2016, Kelly pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of heroin with the intent to sell, court records show.

It was not immediately clear on Monday when Kelly is set to appear in court again, following his arrest on the fugitive warrant.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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