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Suspect in Nellis airman’s killing is also an Air Force vet

Updated August 7, 2020 - 6:56 pm

The suspect in the death of Nellis Air Force Base Master Sgt. Danielle Lynch is a decorated Air Force veteran, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.

Details of Lynch’s relationship with the suspect, identified by authorities as Terrance Levell Kelly, were unclear Friday. But Las Vegas police have said Lynch died on July 8 from blunt force head trauma, about two weeks after she was assaulted during a “domestic-related argument” outside a bar in the northwest valley.

Kelly, 42, joined the Air Force in May 1997 and was discharged from service in June 2017, though the nature of his discharge was unknown Friday. He was last stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, working as a “weapons expeditor,” and had reached the rank of technical sergeant prior to his discharge, according to a Nellis Air Force Base spokesperson.

During his time in the Air Force, according to military records, he was awarded an “achievement medal” and a “commendation medal.”

Kelly was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department on June 27, the night of the assault, on one count of domestic battery resulting in substantial bodily harm. He posted bail that same night, court records show.

On July 9, the day after Lynch died at University Medical Center, prosecutors upgraded the charge to open murder and issued a warrant for his arrest.

Metro homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said Kelly was arrested in Florida and was awaiting extradition to Clark County.

Court records show he has no criminal history in Las Vegas, but little else was known about Kelly on Friday.

Lynch was a devoted mother and the sole provider to 15-year-old twins, according to her family and friends.

She joined the Air Force in June 2002, and during her service was awarded an achievement medal, four commendation medals and two meritorious service medals, according to military records.

“She built her life in the military on her own,” her father, Ron, told the Review-Journal on Thursday. “She is a hero.”

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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