ANGOLA — More charges have been filed against a man accused of holing up in a Fremont area motel and shooting at police officers in the summer of 2018.
Joshua A. Kelley, 38, of Waterloo, now faces two Level 5 felony allegations of possession of methamphetamine and a Level 6 felony charge of theft on top of the 13 charges already pending in Steuben Superior Court. Two of them are Level 1 felony charges of attempted murder.
Kelley has been in Steuben County Jail since his arrest June 14, 2018 after a seven-hour standoff against a hoard of heavily armed police.
A jury trial had been on the Steuben Superior Court calendar for the last week of February but was continued in a pretrial conference Monday. It is now scheduled for Aug. 3-7. Another pretrial conference was set for April 20 at 10 a.m. Kelley is represented by public defender Robert Hardy.
Kelley — who has a criminal record that includes meth-related convictions in DeKalb and Noble counties — could choose to enter a plea bargain with the Steuben County Prosecutor’s Office. By admitting to one or more of the charges, others could be dismissed. Plea agreements can also provide a cap of time served behind bars. They are proffered by the defendant and the state, then accepted or rejected by the judge.
Up until this point, it has appeared that the case was destined for a jury trial. The witness list would likely be a roll call of area law enforcement and public safety employees.
The incident started with a call to DeKalb County Communications on June 14, 2018, reporting a “dead girl” in the room at the motel where Kelley was staying, say court documents. Steuben County and Fremont officers entered the room and found the bathroom door shut, a police affidavit says. When they opened the door, Kelley allegedly was pointing a .380-caliber handgun. As the officers exited the room, Kelley allegedly fired at them.
Numerous heavily armed officers from agencies across the state, including an Indiana State Police armored vehicle, converged. County Road 50W and S.R. 120 were closed and traffic was diverted. The emergency response team deployed pepper spray gas into the room twice. On both occasions, Kelley fired a round from his gun out the front window of the hotel room, court documents say.
Along with attempted murder, Kelley is charged with Level 4 felony manufacturing methamphetamine, Level 5 felony intimidation with a deadly weapon, Level 6 felony pointing a firearm and Class A misdemeanor and Level 5 felony allegations of carrying a handgun without a license. He is also looking at six sentence enhancers, each of which could add 20 additional years to a conviction in the case. Like pending charges, the sentence enhancements could be dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
Kelley has been convicted in DeKalb County for possession of methamphetamine and domestic battery in 2015 and possession of meth in 2009. He was found guilty of possession of chemical reagents or precursors to manufacture meth in October 2005 in Noble County and was convicted of felony domestic battery in 2003 in Henry County.