Dean Kelly, a former model once featured in a music video for the rock band Aerosmith, has been charged with trying to hire a fellow state prison inmate to kill a judge, the Orleans Parish district attorney, the president of the New Orleans City Council and a victim of one of the sex crimes that landed him in prison in the first place.
On Monday, 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office filed papers in state court charging Kelly with four counts of solicitation for murder.
Montgomery said in a news release that Kelly tried to hire an inmate at Rayburn Correctional Center in Angie, in Washington Parish, to kill New Orleans DA Leon Cannizzaro; City Councilman Jason Williams, who once served as one of Kelly’s attorneys; Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier, who oversaw Kelly’s criminal case in New Orleans; and a victim of a sex crime to which Kelly pleaded no contest.
Montgomery said Kelly offered the fellow convict $35,000 in cash, two luxury cars, a boat and a BMW motorcycle.
Sources familiar with the case said the evidence for the allegations includes writings by Kelly and statements from at least one state prison inmate.
Kelly’s mother, Marilyn Kelly, said in an interview Monday that her son was set up by another inmate and that the writings were for a screenplay Kelly and the inmate were working up — a murder-for-hire story.
Kelly, who played a shirtless cameo in the music video for Aerosmith’s 1992 hit “Crazy,” is serving a 10-year prison sentence after pleading no contest in 2013 to a pair of sexual battery counts and a charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
He was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in February 2005 and a 17-year-old later that year. Investigators said they also found a flash drive containing child pornography at his home.
Kelly, 45, originally was charged with forcible rape, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, second-degree kidnapping and possession of child pornography.
The victims said he told them that members of their families would “end up at the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain” if they went to police, according to an attorney who represented one of them.
Kelly took an “Alford plea,” meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged the state had sufficient evidence to convict him. Flemings-Davillier suspended his 10-year sentence as part of his plea deal.
But she ruled in June 2014 that Kelly had violated the terms of his probation, which stipulated that he must register any phone that he used and could not use aliases on social media.
On Nov. 15, 2013, while on probation, Kelly allegedly sent out a mass text message trying to entice women to a party. He signed it “Tara,” prosecutors said. Several women alerted Cannizzaro’s office, and a search of the boathouse where Kelly was staying found evidence of a concealed phone and Kelly’s use of Facebook.
According to court records, Kelly was prone to using pseudonyms to flirt with young women, once introducing himself as “Walker Clay” before hitting on college students at a Mardi Gras party.
His mother said Monday he got into trouble with a fellow inmate at Rayburn who buddied up to Kelly, offering him help in getting his parole reduced and asking Kelly to teach him to act and write screenplays.
The other inmate then extorted Kelly for money and a power of attorney, Marilyn Kelly said.
“Dean got hooked into it. He told Dean he could get him out on early parole. He wanted Dean to teach him how to write a screenplay and teach him to act,” she said. “So they’re doing a screenplay that involved a murder for hire, and (the inmate) is trying to get Dean to give him money.”
She suggested that any alleged threats against the officials involved in his prosecution were fiction.
She said she turned over to prison officials scraps of notes that the inmate had written, after which she said prison officials returned her son from isolation to the general prison population. The other inmate “disappeared,” she said.
She said other Rayburn inmates backed up her son’s claims of extortion.
Marilyn Kelly said she was unaware of any formal charges coming against her son.
A source said investigators with Cannizzaro’s office were involved in the probe into the alleged effort to arrange the hits.
Follow John Simerman on Twitter, @johnsimerman.