Pauls Valley Democrat
Complete silence in the courtroom was only broken by a judge’s voice as on Monday he sentenced a Pauls Valley double murder defendant to a prison term for the rest of his life.
It was at first a scathing criticism from District Judge Greg Dixon before he handed 20-year-old David Bryan Kelly a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole on both murder counts.
Kelly pleaded guilty this past summer to last year’s brutal execution style shooting deaths of both Karen Ott, 58, and her son Shawn Ott, 34, last December at their separate mobile homes on the same property near Pauls Valley.
“You come in contact with this court, you come in contact with law enforcement and you have no respect and I haven’t even got to the victims in this crime,” Dixon said from the bench when he addressed Kelly during the emotional hearing Monday afternoon in a Garvin County District courtroom.
“You have no regret for your actions. Your fate was to have no respect for another human life. You took your friend’s life.
“This court might be able to consider the possibility of parole if it had stopped there. But it didn’t. You made an effort to take another life,” he said, referring to Mrs. Ott.
Dixon made it clear he didn’t believe Kelly, who earlier took the stand and claimed to be sorry for the murders of two close friends.
“I wasn’t real convinced with your testimony that you were sorry for what you’ve done,” the judge said.
“I was more convinced with the passion from your attorneys than you.”
Some of that emotion came from one of Kelly’s defense attorneys, Arlan Bullard, who gave a tear filled plea for his client to receive mercy.
“This is one of these cases that will haunt this court,” Bullard said.
“It was senseless loss of life. He does not remember it but he admits to doing it,” he said about Kelly. “This is one of those situations that tears a small community apart.
“We’re asking this court to have mercy for a 19 year old boy who was drinking, doing drugs, who shot his best friend, his best friend’s mother.
“We just ask for mercy.”
On the other side of the case Greg Mashburn, Garvin County’s assistant district, argued the evidence showed Kelly had not really taken responsibility for his deadly crimes even though he had pleaded guilty.
Mashburn said many of Kelly’s initial statements to authorities shortly after the killings didn’t match up with his claim today of not being able to remember pulling the trigger of a .22 caliber rifle that killed the Otts late last year.
“To me he’s still not taking responsibility,” Mashburn said.
“This defendant should never have the opportunity to breath free air again,” he said. “I ask for the punishment of life without the possibility of parole. That’s the punishment he’s earned in this case.
“The most just punishment is that he will never be out on the streets again. The way to do that is to sentence him to the max punishment.”