Jailer's Wife Charged for Holding 4 Black Teens at Gunpoint Going Door-to-Door for School

Rebekah Sager
August 14, 2019 - 11:44 am

A white 46-year-old Arkansas woman was arrested last Wednesday after holding four black teens at gunpoint for going door-to-door selling cards for their high school football program. 

According to a statement from Wynne Police Chief Jackie Clark, the officers responded to a report of “suspicious persons." When they arrived they found the four students lying on the ground with a woman standing over them holding a gun. The officer asked the children to stand up and they were able to explain that there simply selling cards for a school program. Two of the teens were wearing school jerseys. 

The woman has been identified as Jerri Kelly, the wife of Cross County Jail administrator, Joe Kelly. She arrested Monday by the Wynne Police Department and was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor. Her mugshot is not available as she told authorities at the time that she had a "medical issue," while she was being booked. 

Cross County Sheriff David West told WMC News despite not having a mugshot taken, Kelly did not receive any special treatment. Kelly’s bond was set at $10,000, and she is scheduled to appear in court Thursday. “I’m professional. My department is professional. There was no special treatment. She went through the steps just like any other person would,” the sheriff said in a statement.

Chief Clark said in a statement, “As we focus on our children, no bond will ever be set too high to protect our children, but in the real world bonds are only set to guarantee appearances in court... Sometimes as police officers or citizens we don’t always agree with bonds being set too high or low, but our goal is always to ensure justice is served in the end."