Kelly Rothwell

Kelly Rothwell
Much Loved Sister, Daughter, Friend

Sunday, April 6, 2014

David Perry May Plead Guilty To All Charges, Avoiding a Second Fraud Trial

David Perry, the only suspect in the disappearance and probable murder of St. Pete Florida Police Cadet Kelly Rothwell three years ago may be taking a pleading guilty on all charges and throw himself on the mercy of the Steuben County, N.Y.court. Perry is awaiting a second trial , this time in Steuben County for false instrument for filing, grand larceny and fraud charges stemming from an alleged Work Comp related injury he said he sustained in 2003 while working as a Corrections Officer in the Elmira Correctional  Facility. Perry has already  been convicted in September of 2013 on the same set of charges in Broome County, N.Y. and is currently serving 4-12 years in Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, N.Y.

The charges have been lodged in two different counties because Perry received benefits from the New York State Insurance Fund for Workers Compensation Board, located in Broome County. Perry obtained his 3/4 disability benefits from the New York State and Local Retirement System; he had the funds deposited in a bank in Corning, N.Y. located in Steuben County.

According to Steuben County DA Brooks Baker, he and Judge Joseph  Latham along with Perry's new assigned public defender Jim Faratella, conferenced the case last week.

"He's contemplating an open plea to the entire indictment essentially throwing himself on the mercy of the court begging for concurrent time. We're not sure what's going to happen yet," Baker said.

According to Baker, Perry has an "absolute right" to plead guilty if he wants to.

"If he pleads to the entire indictment as charged  he is talking about pleading guilty to everything he is charged with with no reduction or offer. Essentially he takes me out of the equation. I advocate to the judge for more jail time and he begs the judge for concurrent time. It's up to the judge to decide. The max sentence is 5-15 and it can be either concurrent or consecutive at the judge's discretion."
Baker admits' that it would  likely take 6 months to get to trial but that his time can not be concurrent until he is sentenced.
"He is getting no credit against my time now. Perry is trying to minimize the damage and get it done as soon as possible. He is hoping that the judge would be more lenient than I am. Perry was not present for the conference and the judge made no decision at that time But I did indicate that I want more prison time and will continue to advocate for it."

Sometimes it works for the defendant and sometimes not.  Lets hope in this case that Perry gets the max, consecutive, NOT concurrent sentence, which will keep him in jail a LOT longer. 

Maybe he can use that extra  time to figure out how he will confess to Kelly Rothwell's murder and where he hid her body, so that the Rothwell's can have closure after this incredibly painful ordeal.

Unfortunately for the Rothwells, Perry is a sociopath with no conscience, a narcissist without remorse, guilt or shame.... Lets hope some extra time in prison will make him talk....

Meanwhile Kelly Rothwell is still missing.....

Any information obtained in this article is exclusive and cannot be reproduced without my express permission.© 2014 TAMPABAYCRIMEREPORT.COM

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Missing an Angel; Kelly Rothwell’s Family and Close Friends Speak

By Leigh Clifton

It’s been three years, three long years since St. Pete Police cadet Kelly Rothwell went home to break up with her then- boyfriend, David Perry, and was never seen again. Three years since her family and close friends have heard her cheerful voice, seen her wide, infectious smile or felt her comforting, serene presence
Today I want to write about Kelly Rothwell the person; I was privileged to speak to several of Kelly’s closest friends and wanted people to get to know the Kelly that they knew, the Kelly that they remember, with joy and heartache, fondness and laughter and always, ALWAYS with love….. Some spoke to me by phone, some by text and some via FaceBook message. But all had one common thread; Kelly had profoundly touched their lives in immeasurable ways.. She was just that kind of girl…

Erin Hansel has known Kelly since they were in 5 year old kindergarten students together at St. Michaels the Archangels School in Baltimore, Maryland, where Kelly grew up.  She and Kelly spent a lot of time together and their mothers were friends. She remembers spending the night at Kelly’s house in her basement bedroom, playing records and giggling about stuff.  She and Kelly also took pottery classes together at Gardenville  Rec Center.
“I remember her having a Basset hound; they are the ones with the flappy ears that howl, right?” Erin wrote. (Nancy Rothwell told me the dog’s name was Duke.)  Erin also remembers sailing with Kelly and her dad. “She was in heaven out on the water…”

Another one of Kelly’s childhood friends, Janet, told me that she and Kelly used to skate in the roller rink shows at the Gardenville Rec Center in Baltimore.
“When the skaters would perform for each other during the cast party, the members of the group would sometimes exchange costumes with the boys and then skate to their group songs. We all enjoyed that and so did the kids” Janet wrote me. “She was a treasure, a very sweet person…”

Jen Belcastro went to high school with Kelly in the 90’s in Baltimore. She actually knew Kelly’s three sisters better, as Kelly was a few years older than she was.
“What I remember most about Kelly was that she was a free spirit type, a nature lover with a kind heart. A total hippie in high school.. I looked up to her spirit and style.  I think of her often.”

So many of Kelly’s friend’s remembrances run along the same theme… she touched their lives with her kindness and grace.

Melissa Clemons Johnson wrote “Kelly and I went to high school together in Maryland. What I remember most about her was her smile, her warmth, her presence and her self-confidence. She was a very caring person about everyone and everything.  She would have done anything to help you out. She is very missed in all ways but most of all I miss her smile… that’s the part that I miss the most.”

Kelly’s dad, Tom Rothwell  told me the story of taking Kelly and her sisters on his 24 ft boat the “Two-Rific-Too.” Tom had named the boat after seeing a bumper stick about twins (Kelly’s sisters Lindsay and Lauren are fraternal twins) after the girls were born. As a member and officer at the GlenMar Sailing Association in Middle River on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, Tom raced competitively for years and his name is on the High Point perpetual racing trophy,  something he’s won 4 times. When Kelly was little, Tom would sail with her and her sisters to Fairlee Creek on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where a famous Corn Roast was held every year. The Glenmar Sailing Association would supply between 10 and 15 bushels of corn and the charcoal.  Sailors would bring burgers and hotdogs to roast on the fires.
“We would all of us raft up and then spend the night on the boat. The food was great and the people all enjoyed it. In the morning, I would start cooking bacon and eggs… everyone would wake up to the smell of bacon and show up for breakfast! There was always well-over 100 people at these roasts.”
Tom just recently gave the Two-Rific-Too away; it had been sitting in his yard for a while.
“I’ve dealt with Kelly’s loss; I’ve done my crying. I have great memories of taking her sailing as a little kid. That’s what I hold onto.”

Nancy Rothwell, Kelly’s mother, was just grateful to all of Kelly’s friends that gave me remembrances of her.
“It’s wonderful that so many of Kelly’s friends have such fond memories of her,” Nancy spoke through her tears. “I keep her in my heart and I pray for her every day. I try to keep busy but she is always near me. I miss her and love her so very much…Kelly was an amazing young woman who touched the lives of so many people. She had such a passion for life and was such an inspiration to all. Kelly accomplished so much in her abbreviated life and that is a life to be celebrated, not mourned."

In a lighter moment, Nancy recalled Kelly’s 1972 Yellow VW beetle.
“I remember she had flower stickers all over it,” she chuckled. “She was a hippie girl, through and through.”

There are so many people who knew Kelly so well; I tried to contact as many as possible. There are quite a few of Kelly’s friends that live in Colorado, where Kelly lived for a while when she attended Adams State College. One of her best friends there was Amy Gray from Alamosa, Colorado, who spoke to me earlier today and had wonderful memories of her friendship with Kelly.
“I first met Kelly in chemistry class at Adams State College; I was majoring in biology and she was geology major I think. I was instantly drawn to her; her smile could light up a room. She was so intelligent, she taught me a lot about the origins of rocks and the use of light to determine what types of materials the rocks were comprised of.”
Amy laughed as she recalled Kelly’s yellow VW bug. Kelly and her father Tom had driven it out to Colorado.
“She named it Putt-Putt,” she chuckled. “She also used to say Mary Land, instead of Maryland; that used to crack me up so much!”
Amy is still so incredibly saddened by the loss of her friend. She was one of several close friends from Alamosa.
“Kelly was magical, she was a jewel. One year she dressed up as a ladybug for Halloween… she was just so much fun! She loved all things and all people. And her laugh!! She had this wonderful laugh that instantly enveloped you and made you feel absolute love. It was really distinctive. We all just fell in love with her. She was just pure magic.”
Amy also said that Kelly was the consummate hippy.  She was always tooling around town in Putt-Putt; she had pasted big flower stickers all over the car.
“She was so mellow, so cool. Her favorite song was “Wildflowers”, by Tom Petty.  If you listen to the words, you will understand.”
Amy said that the 12th is a tough day for her. Her son was born on the 10th of March and says that there is sadness and joy at the same time around this time of year.
“I just can’t believe that she’s no longer on this earth. On the one year anniversary of her “disappearance” a bunch of us from Alamosa went up to Navaho Lake. We did a prayer circle and had a remembrance ceremony in her honor. It’s just so incredibly sad that someone so beautiful would be taken from us. It’s almost as if she was too good, too pure of heart to last in this lifetime. I think of Kelly and her family every day and I pray that they hopefully find some peace. Kelly was just magic…. Just magic…”

Finally, Kelly’s sister Lauren spoke of Kelly and effect she had on her life.
“To be honest… No one knows for sure what will come of this. We can only hope that she is found and justice is served. But I do know, for sure, that I think of her every single day. Good things and bad. And I’m so thankful for the influence she’s had on my life. Her departure did not end our relationship. She will always be my sister and that love never dies.”

There are several others of Kelly Rothwell’s friends that couldn't get back to me in time for this publication. I hope that they read these remembrances and comment on the blog, using their names and how they knew Kelly. It’s a wonderful tribute to this woman, who I never had the honor of knowing, that SO many people were touched by Kelly’s heart.

 I leave you with this last thought.. the words from Wildflowers by Tom Petty. They truly do sum up the essence of Kelly’s spirit…

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, find you a lover
Go away, somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, go find a lover
Run away, let your heart be your guide
You deserve the deepest of cover
You belong in that home by and by

You belong among the Wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worry
You belong somewhere you feel free
You belong somewhere you feel free…..

Friday, February 21, 2014


 David Perry, the only suspect in the disappearance and probable murder of  his then girlfriend St. Pete Police Cadet Kelly Rothwell seems to be getting some karma coming back around to him and there couldn't be a more deserving guy on the planet. Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker will get another shot at David Perry for Fraud and Grand Larceny charges stemming from an  alleged Work-Comp related accident in 2003. Perry who was convicted of those same charges in Broome County and sentenced to 4-12 years originally was also charged with those same offenses in Steuben County. But County Judge Joseph Latham threw out the charges on the grounds that the fraud had not been proven in the Broome County case. With that ruling he also negated the seizure of assets that New York State Police executed against him last year.

 Enter Broome County Asst. DA Sandra Cardone, who was finally able to convict Perry late last year of those charges. Her tenacity, through not one but TWO Grand Juries and two trials resulted in a conviction on Grand Larceny and Fraud charges and a 4-12 year sentence for Perry, who is currently in Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill New York.
Now, with those convictions in hand, DA Baker, who had filed an appeal last year after Judge  Latham's ruling, seemed to have the ammunition needed to propel his argument for Perry's trial in Steuben County.

DA Baker's appeal was argued successfully by John Tunney, who retired after 35 years as the DA of Steuben County and is Baker's mentor. The case was reviewed by the judge who granted the appeal of his original ruling and has been added back into his trial calendar. According to DA Baker, who communicated to me by phone earlier Thursday evening, there is no news yet on an appearance date or what attorney will be representing Perry in this trial.

Also included in this ruling of the appeal is the money that was seized in Perry's house; $128,000 found hidden away as well as his other assets, including the new Honda he bought with cash, his house, (which he tried to sell while it was being used for collateral for his bond), motorcycles and snow mobiles. Baker said that he plans to take the $120 K they have been holding on his conviction.
You might have remembered that Perry ALSO was arrested in an assault charge while in the Steuben County jail. He beat up another prisoner, William Hargrave, with a mop bucket and put him in the hospital with a head laceration. Perry pled guilty on the assault and was sentenced to 9 months in jail. Since he was already IN jail, that case against him is finished. But with the weight of the conviction from Broome County, Perry seems headed for some more jail time. Baker said that if convicted, it will be up to Judge Latham to determine whether any possible sentence would run concurrently or consecutively. Lets hope the latter.

I spoke with Nancy Rothwell, Kelly's mother, Thursday evening to tell her of the developments in Perry's case. She seemed pleased that at least some modicum  of justice for her daughter might still be meted out. As she has said before, she knew Kelly was in a better place. a place where no one could hurt her anymore. There is still such a quiet sadness about Nancy...she grieves in silence. She has no closure, and she doesn't know where her daughter is, only that she's not home where she belongs.

While I know that all of this is probably scant comfort for Kelly's family, at least they and the rest of the world, can rest a bit easier knowing that Perry is off the streets, for now.

Lets hope someone scares the crap out of him in jail, or maybe the thought of more jail time will make him talk and tell police what he did with Kelly's body. I have always maintained that he took her to New York with him right after he killed he in the Indian Rocks Beach condo they rented that March 11th. He is just mentally sick enough to think he's invincible and I think he knew plenty of places he could have hidden her body among the thousands of acres of state parks from New York to Oklahoma, where he had been traced right after be arrived back in Elmira. He has friends out west, in Arizona, who are convicted felons on drug trafficking charges; maybe they helped him...

What is true and irrefutable is that David Perry is still the ONLY suspect in Kelly's disappearance and probable murder.  From where I sit, he deserves  to be where he is sitting for a long, long time.
Lets hope Judge Latham agrees.

The information contained in this blog post was obtained exclusively by me and may NOT be used without my express written consent.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Detectives Visit Elmira Prison Last Monday

A source close to the Elmira Prison in Elmira, New York, where David Perry used to work, said that the detectives from Pinellas County who have been working Kelly Rothwell’s disappearance, Mike Bailey and Amy Plourde Booth were in town last Monday. They stopped by the reception area of the prison and met with law enforcement and possibly inmates that may have had some contact with Perry. Whether they were in town to question those inmates about Perry is unknown, but one could assume so. However, they supposedly also had an unrelated case that they were following in the area.

But it sounds a little far-fetched that two Pinellas County detectives who have worked Kelly’s case for almost three years now would travel to Elmira, New York and visit the very prison that David Perry worked in for an unrelated case, doesn’t it? Elmira is also the reception area for all of the state prisons; any inmate comes there first to be processed and then either stays there or is sent to one of the other detention facilities. Perry was moved from the Broome County Jail after his conviction to the Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, New York…

Perhaps he was running his mouth about what he did to Kelly and the Florida detectives are hoping that someone will come forward… maybe someone already has…

As the three year mark of Kelly’s disappearance looms near, I wonder if the Florida detectives’ presence in New York is a positive sign. But any attempt at a search in a nature preserve or a compost heap this late in the game and in the dead of winter in upstate New York would seem a bit like shutting the barn door after the horse ran out almost three years ago.

Perry is serving a 4-12 year sentence for stealing from Work Comp. So far he already has about two years of time served. According to law enforcement he still must serve another two (to complete the minimum required by the sentence of 4 years) and then he will be on parole after that. When the time comes, wouldn’t it be great if the Parole Board was inundated with letters from concerned citizens who wanted his parole denied. LOTS of letters…

Meanwhile Kelly’s birthday has come and gone….She would have been 38 years old on January 10th.  Kelly’s mother Nancy, speaking through tears, told me on Kelly’s birthday that she is at least grateful that Perry is in jail. “We miss her every day, but we know she is at peace and that no one can hurt her anymore.”

New billboards spaces with Kelly’s’ face and information have been donated and are up on RT. 19. Although Kelly’s family had no idea they were being put up, Kelly’s sister Lindsay say she hopes that it will generate new interest in Kelly’s case. The billboards made the local news here as well as the local news in the Twin Tiers/Elmira area in New York. It’s a longshot that someone may remember something from almost three years ago based on a billboard however. It’s a shame they didn’t go up right after she went missing. But hope is still alive that someone may step forward and help solve the mystery of Kelly’s disappearance.  

In my opinion, there is no mystery… her killer sits in a New York State jail cell.

Let’s hope he breaks from the pressure and tells her family where he put her body so they can bring her home.


David Perry mug shot