Kelly Rothwell

Kelly Rothwell
Much Loved Sister, Daughter, Friend

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Broome County D.A. Mum on Perry Grand Jury Convening and Possible Federal Charges Pending

Broome County D.A. Sandra Cardone said earlier this week that she has yet to convene a Grand Jury in the felony fraud case against David Perry, the Elmira man who is also listed as a suspect in the case of missing police cadet Kelly Rothwell of Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. Rothwell, 35, went missing after returning home from lunch with a friend to break up with Perry, who has a history of prior domestic abuse. Perry, who was Rothwell’s live-in boyfriend of almost three years, has been characterized as “overbearing, abusive and possessive” by Rothwell to her friend Donna Scharrett, who witnessed firsthand some of Perry’s abuse and jealous rages. Rothwell, who was set to graduate from the St. Pete Police Academy in April of 2011, went missing March 12th, 2011, the same day she went home to break up with Perry. She has not been heard from or seen since. Perry abruptly left Florida that same day for Elmira New York, where he has a home and still maintains residency.

Now Perry has a new girlfriend, Melissa Maris Walker, an Army Specialist at Tripler Army Medical Center, in Honolulu, Hawaii where she was recently stationed after leaving Las Vegas. She is a member of the Nevada National Guard, having joined in 2009. She is in psychiatry at the hospital. Perry, who is out on bail stemming from the Workman’s Comp fraud case was recently allowed to visit Walker in Hawaii. Originally, one of the conditions of his bail was that he not leave the State of New York. But Perry and his attorney, John Scanlon, appeared before Judge Martin Smith, of the Broome County 6th Judicial Court, and requested permission to visit Walker in Hawaii for approximately one month. Judge Smith granted the request, a move that surprised the Broome County D.A.’s office, Florida Law Enforcement, the press and many of Kelly Rothwell’s family and supporters, who consider Perry a dangerous man capable of more violence. Perry is listed as a suspect in Kelly Rothwell’s disappearance and probable homicide.

Perry went to Hawaii sometime in July and it is now rumored that he may have applied for a marriage license for Walker and himself. Walker was approached by her superior officers and questioned as to her involvement with Perry. The question was raised as to whether her conduct in engaging in contact with a suspect in a criminal activity and who is out on bail for two counts of Felony Grand Larceny and Insurance Fraud would constitute a breach of Army protocol. According to Army regulations, there are no consequences that Walker’s involvement with Perry would preclude her from her duties as an Army soldier. According to a JAG military lawyer, soldiers are not punished in a criminal sense for the actions of their significant others. However, it could be taken into consideration when that soldier is renewing her clearance. If there is any proof of conspiracy, assistance or anything of that nature, then possible criminal charges could be filed against the soldier.

According to Cardone, she is waiting to hear from Perry’s attorney as to whether he may choose to testify at the Grand Jury and also if there are possible Federal charges to be filed against Perry for Social Security fraud as well. Perry receives Social Security disability benefits monthly, in addition to his Work Comp benefits. However, Cardone seems confident that eventually there will be justice served.

“The time that David Perry spent in Hawaii will not be charged against us (D.A.’s office). We normally have 6 months to convene the Grand Jury, but his time away will not count toward that. Obviously, the more time we have to work on this case, the stronger the case can be,” A.D.A. Cardone said. “Perry’s lawyer said that Perry might testify at the Grand Jury, so I suppose they are working on their case. Perry’s lawyer intimated that they might be waiting to see if Federal charges are pending as well. The next few months could certainly bring about some interesting developments.”

In a Grand Jury appearance, the attorney is not permitted to be present and most attorneys would advise the defendant not to testify. Everything a defendant says can be used against them. A Grand Jury is simply there for the prosecutor to make his or her case against the defendant and it is not a determination of guilt or innocence. All they need is probable cause to indict and nothing the defendant says will assist in keeping them from their goal. Most Grand Juries do what the prosecutor asks and issues an indictment.

No comments:

Post a Comment


David Perry mug shot