Mother of victim happy about arrest in son's murder

Darlene McNealy
Darlene McNealy
Candrell Linear
Candrell Linear
Deron Cole (Source: Darlene McNealy)
Deron Cole (Source: Darlene McNealy)
Ricky Lewis Kelly (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)
Ricky Lewis Kelly (Source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

Louisville, KY - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email 
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - On July 7, a Jefferson County Grand Jury indicted 39-year-old Ricky Kelly with eight counts of complicity to murder, involving cold cases that date back to 1996.

According to Lt. Barry Wilkerson, commander of the Louisville Metro Police Department Homicide Squad, Kelly has been behind bars since 2006 on an unrelated weapons charge. Wilkerson would not go into details about the eight homicide cases, possible motives, or how detectives connected Kelly to all eight murders.

Wilkerson said Kelly has been indicted with complicity to murder in the 1996 cases of Gale Duncan, Deron Cole, and John Sanders. Kelly was indicted for complicity to murder for the 1998 murders of Charles Lewis and Blair Kidwell; the 2005 murders of Craig Jones and Laquantae Jackson; the 2006 kidnapping, robbery, and murder of Warren King.

Wilkerson said the department got a break in these unsolved homicides, once their Cold Case Squad formed in 2008. He said the investigation remains open. He said they are continuing to interview people and follow leads. If anyone has additional information, they are urged to contact the department's anonymous tipline at 574-LMPD (5673).

Darlene McNealy, mother of the second person Kelly is charged with killing, Deron Cole, said she is glad the person police believe is involved in the murder of her son is finally behind bars.

"What makes me happy is that the detectives never gave up," said McNealy.

In her heart, McNealy said she knew this day would come. She said July 24, 1996 feels like yesterday. McNealy said her 21-year-old son, Deron, was shot in a room in the back of the house, which had its own entrance. She said she believes Deron Cole knew the shooter and let him come inside the house.

"I'm hurt. I'm so mad. I hurt. No one can imagine, unless you walk a mile in my shoe," McNealy said.

According to McNealy, her son was turning his life around after a drug arrest. McNealy told us she was under the impression Cole had a hit against him because he pleaded guilty to a drug arrest.

"Nobody had the right to take my son's life. I don't care what he was involved in," said McNealy.

McNealy has dealt with the loss of a child before. Her daughter, Suwanda Cole was murdered in 1996 and in 2009 her son, Joseph McNealy Junior, was murdered.

"My family has been through hell. We have been through hell," McNealy said.

McNealy told us police made arrests in Suwanda Cole's case and Joseph McNealy Junior's case. But it wasn't until Wednesday that a person was indicted and accused of being involved in Deron Cole's murder.

Cole's sister, Candrell Linear, said it never mattered to her if she ever knew who would be accused of her brother's murder.

"He ain't never coming back. It don't give me no justice. It don't make me feel better because he's gone," said Linear.

When McNealy heard Kelly was indicted for complicity to murder in seven other cases, she said, "I don't know what kind of person he is that could kill that many people and not have some sense of remorse."

"How could you sleep at night, killing that many people for how many families," said McNealy. "It's 8 people. It's 8 families."

The Grand Jury also indicted Kelly with one count of assault, one count of trafficking in a controlled substance, and one count of being a persistent felony offender.

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