UPPER MARLBORO, MD -- The drunk driver who pled guilty to causing a 2014 crash in Oxon Hill, Md. that left five people dead did not appear at his sentencing hearing on Friday and is being sought by law enforcement. Their search efforts are being hampered by the fact, the defendant's GPS tracking device had been removed earlier in the week.
Kenneth Kelley was supposed to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon and faced up to 50 years in prison for five counts of negligent manslaughter and other charges. Among those killed in the crash were two sisters, Tameika Curtis and Typhani Wilkerson, who had ten children between them.
"He took away five lives. Five. I’m not sure why the judge released him in the first place. You know, he should not have been out on the street, but that’s five lives lost," said Lloyd Hardy, the father to some of Curtis' children.
On October 10, 2014, prosecutors said Kelley had been driving up to 70 mph in a 30 mph zone with a blood alcohol content level of .14, nearly twice the legal limit. He crashed his car into the back of another that was stopped at a red light at Livingston Rd. and Livingston Terr. in Oxon Hill, Md.
The crash killed a passenger in Kelley's car. In the car he hit, Curtis and Wilkerson were killed, as were two children: Khadija Ba, 13, and Hassan Boykin, 1. The children's mother was driving the car and survived.
"A mother had to sit in the car and watch her only children die right in front of her. I lost my kid’s mom," added Harold.
When Kelley was initially arrested and charged, he was ordered held without bond. But the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office (PGSAO) said that at a bond hearing, Judge Albert Northrop allowed Kelley to be released on $100,000 bond and had him fitted with a GPS tracking device. A PGSAO spokesperson said this was a decision they argued against.
However, when Kelley did not show up for Friday's hearing, prosecutors said they learned that earlier this week, his GPS device had been removed. A PGSAO spokesperson said the device was not controlled by the Prince George's County Department of Corrections, but a private contractor, and could not explain why Kelley's tracking device had been removed before sentencing.
Judge Northrop issued a warrant for Kelley's arrest and ordered that when he is caught, that he be held without bond until his sentencing hearing.
The victim's families are urging Kelley to give himself up.
"Accept responsibility. Turn yourself in. And if you know where he is, if you’re helping to hide him out, you’re just as guilty," said Harold.