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Huntsville man gets life after UAH art professor murdered

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 20 years in the robbery-slaying of a retired UAH art professor.

Terry Lee Kelly, 41, sentenced Friday, was convicted of capital murder in the death of 76-year-old Jack Dempsey.

The shooting took place during a robbery in October 2003 at Dempsey’s Meridianville Road home.

The jury returned the verdict after about three hours of deliberations.

The victim’s daughter, Millie Dempsey, told The Huntsville Times she is pleased with the verdict.

“I’m glad that he is not going to be back in society because I would be afraid for anyone
who had to cross his path,” she said.

The trial before Circuit Judge Karen K. Hall began Monday.

Prosecutors said Kelly and his girlfriend, Shonda Jean Moody, 36, killed and robbed Dempsey.

They stole Dempsey’s
2001 Chevrolet S-10 pickup and fled.

Kelly and Moody were captured in Delhi, La., on Oct. 13 when the pickup overturned on Interstate 20.

Moody, also facing a capital murder charge, testified Thursday against Kelly in expectation of leniency when her case goes to trial.

Moody said she and Kelly went to Dempsey’s house
to get money to buy crack cocaine.

When they broke into the house, Dempsey met them with a pistol and Kelly shot him, she said.

5 prior convictions

Kelly, who has five prior felony convictions, also faces two murder charges.

He is charged with murder in the 2003 death of Jennifer Butcher, 23, whose body was found under a house in Huntsville.

He is also charged with murder in the death of 17-year-old Ronald Pinchon, who was beaten to death in the Madison County jail in May 2005.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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