Kids held at gunpoint after selling cards for school fundraiser

Local News

Update:

WYNNE, Ark. – More information continues to unfold about Jerri Kelly who pulled a gun on four African American student-athletes who were knocking door to door for their annual fundraising drive.

This incident happend on August 7 when a police responded to a call about a “suspicious persons.”

One police officer said “I observed Mrs. Kelly holding a chrome plated revolver that was pointed at four black males that were lying face down in the driveway with the hands behind their backs.”

“I notice that two of the individuals were wearing high school jerseys. I then immediately recognized all four individuals as high school juveniles from my interactions with them as a school resource officer.”

The officer explained that the four students were around 15 to 16 years old and that the fundraiser was for the Wynne Yellowjackets football team. Kelly had made gestures to her skin color and that of the boys, police say.

‘It ain’t about that,” Kelly allegedly told the youngsters, according to the police report. “Mrs. Kelly stated that it was about ‘suspicious activity.'”

Later, Kelly had said that “she wanted to ‘put some closure on this’ by buying the boys lunch,” according to the police report.

Original:

WYNNE, Ark. – Four students going door-to-door for a school fundraiser were held at gunpoint last week in Wynne, Arkansas.

Authorities say the woman who is now charged in the case is the wife of the Cross County Jail Administrator.

The incident has the whole town talking, and some wondering why the suspect doesn’t have a mug shot.

The 4 teenagers were going door to door selling discount cards for the high school football program. The Wynne School system says two of them had jerseys on.

All four of the students were African American.

The incident took place at this home on Morningside Drive at 10 a.m. on August 7.

The Wynne Police Chief in a media statement says when officers arrived four juveniles were found lying on the ground, with a female standing with a gun. The officer had the children stand up and explain they were selling the cards for school.

Bill Winkler’s lived in the neighborhood for four decades and says seeing the students isn’t uncommon.

“Usually it’s right before football season, late summer or early fall the kids were out selling these discount cards.”

Monday Wynne Police arrested 46 year old Jerri Kelly on 4 counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Kelly doesn’t have a mugshot because Cross County Sheriff David West told me she had a quote “medical issue” while she was being booked.

Kelly is the wife of Cross County Jail Administrator Joe Kelly, one of West’s employees.

David West says, “During that time she was as at the jail, a bondsman arrived and bonded her out and they went back home.”

West maintains despite no mugshot, which is standard procedure for anyone booked into jail, Jerri Kelly didn’t get preferential treatment. Her husband Joe remains on the job.

West says, “I’m professional. My department is professional. There was no special treatment. She went through the steps just like any other person would.”

Nobody came to the door at the home Tuesday, as the Wynne Superintendent told me door to door sales by students could be suspended, and other neighbors are left uneasy at the details of the encounter.

Winkler say’s, “They’re just kids. You worry about your neighborhood and you wonder who is this person.”

Court staff say that Jerri Kelly is scheduled to make her first appearance in front of a judge tomorrow morning.

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