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Hagerstown officer charged with pointing gun at girlfriend

December 02, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown police officer was charged with two counts of assault last month in connection with an incident in which he allegedly pointed a pistol at his girlfriend.

Curtis W. Kelley, 24, of 15701 Fenton Ave., Williamsport, was charged with first- and second-degree assault, and one count of reckless endangerment, according to documents from Washington County District Court.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said Kelley has been placed on leave with pay.

"He will not be working as a police officer until this is resolved," Smith said.

Kelley declined to comment when reached by telephone on Tuesday at his home.

Donna Messina, human resources director for the City of Hagerstown, said Kelley was hired July 24, 2007, and earns $40,456 a year.

Hagerstown police received a tip in November that Kelley pointed his departmentally issued gun at his live-in girlfriend's head during an argument between the couple on Sept. 12 at their apartment on Kenly Avenue in Hagerstown, court documents say. The argument began after the woman told Kelley she was meeting a male friend whom she had known since kindergarten.

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During a subsequent interview with police on Nov. 19, the woman confirmed that Kelley pointed the pistol at her, documents allege. The woman told police that Kelley said he wouldn't shoot her because she "wasn't worth the (expletive) bullet."

The woman said she didn't believe Kelley would shoot her at the time, but was afraid he might "do something while she was asleep or when she wouldn't have a chance to defend herself," she alleged in court documents.

After police interviewed the woman, they confiscated Kelley's duty weapon -- a .40-caliber handgun -- that was lying with other police-related items on a table at the apartment, according to court documents. Police tried to interview Kelley on Nov. 20 about the incident, but he declined to answer questions without an attorney, the documents say.

Kelley was charged after police presented the evidence to Washington County State's Attorney Charles Strong and Deputy State's Attorney Steve Kessell, documents show.

The application for the statement of charges was dated Nov. 24.

A conviction on the charges carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and $7,500 in fines.

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