A Conway teen accused in a January road rage case has opted not to stand trial before a jury.
Kerry Kelly, 19, was formally charged in late January with one felony aggravated assault charge after he reportedly chased after and threw objects at a vehicle driving along Old Morrilton Highway.
The Conway teen who has previously pleaded not guilty to the Class D felony waived on Monday his right to a jury trial. Barry Keith Faulkner, who represents the 19-year-old, filed a jury trial waiver in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Monday and requested Kelly receive a bench trial.
During the brief hearing Monday, a motion hearing and bench trial were set.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Cortney Kennedy has also informed the court she plans to use 404 evidence against Kelly.
Rule 404 refers to character evidence and also evidence submitted pertaining to crimes or other acts that an individual has previously been found guilty of.
Kennedy said she intends to introduce a previous misdemeanor road rage case the Conway teen was found guilty of in 2018 "to prove motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident," according to the notice of intent to use Section 404(b) Evidence that was submitted formally Tuesday morning.
According to the notice, prosecutors plan to use the defendant's August 2018 case against him at his August bench trial.
The teen was found guilty in district court on Jan. 10 in a hit-and-run case, where he was ordered to take defensive driving classes and pay the victim $1,000. A district judge also ordered in January that Kelly pay $370 in fines.
The misdemeanor case stemmed from a Aug. 21 incident where he threw a banana peel at another vehicle because the woman driving the 2011 Ford Fusion did not react immediately when a traffic light turned green.
According to a 2018 crash report, Kelly threw the banana peel at the woman’s vehicle while at the intersection of Hogan Lane and Prince Street before swerving around her vehicle. As he swerved to pass the woman, Kelly clipped the front left bumper of the woman’s vehicle, causing more than $1,000 in damages.
Kelly said he “laid on [his] horn” and threw the banana peel at the woman because she cut him off, causing him to slam on his brakes.
Officer Joseph Rowe was able to pinpoint Kelly as the suspect of the hit-and-run case because the victim was able to snap a photo of his license plate after he struck her car with his red 2014 GMC Sierra.
In her notice of intent to use 404 evidence, Kennedy said the August incident helps portray Kelly's state of mind because he "apparently lost his temper in a road rage dispute" both during the August 2018 incident as well as during the January incident that led up to the current case against the 19-year-old.
Kelly testified last week on his own behalf after appealing his prior hit-and-run charge.
"In his testimony, [Kelly] admitted to following the victim, throwing a banana peel at her vehicle, passing the victim in the on-coming traffic late, and changing lanes to get back into the correct lane," court documents state. "According to [the defendant], [the] victim had pulled out in front of him on Hogan [Lane] as he was pulling into the turning lane. [Kelly] denied hitting [the] victim, although he admitted under cross-examination that he saw [the] victim drive behind him to take a photo and shortly after that incident, saw [the] victim pulled over in a parking lot with police."
No ruling had been made as of Wednesday regarding the request to use 404 evidence. A motion hearing in Kelly's case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 21 in Faulkner County Circuit Court, with a bench trial following at 1 p.m. the same day.