A Guntersville man will spend 24 months on probation after entering a guilty plea on misdemeanor aggravated criminal surveillance charges.
Warren Kelley, of Guntersville, entered the guilty plea Aug. 13 and accepted a plea deal giving him a 12-months suspended sentenced and 24 months probation.
Marshall County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bray stated the case related to criminal surveillance of a 16-year old and an 18-year old female for sexual gratification purposes.
Bray said the teens followed their instincts which led to Kelley being caught. In the girls’ home bathroom, an exhaust fan appeared just a little too small for the hole it was in and the girls took notice. It has about a two-inch gap. They heard noises and told an adult that they believed something was not right.
“The moral of the story,” Bray said, “is to listen to your instincts.”
Kelley did not video the victims, but if he had Bray said he could have been charged with a child pornography-related offenses.
Kelley admitted to going into the home’s attic and watching the girls on five different occasions. The last occasion he admitted to was in May.
Bray said Blount County School officials and law enforcement from Marshall and Blount counties and Albertville Police assisted in the investigation due to Kelley being a former teacher at Susan Moore High School. The crimes were committed in Albertville.
Bray said once Kelley pled guilty, she reached out to the Blount County School system and the State Board of Education to let them know. She wanted to make sure they knew of his actions.
Superintendent Rodney Green of Blount County said Coach Kelley has been an employee with Susan Moore High School for 11 years and he was in good standing. He has been placed on leave at this time pending an ongoing investigation.
As part of his plea deal, he is not allowed to have any contact with the victims or the victims’ family members.
Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith said there was constant communication between the Albertville Police and the DA’s office.
Smith said the girls did the right thing by going to an adult. Looking for something out of place or something that just does not look right could be a sign that you are being watched. He said some of the cameras used for surveillance are just so small to be immediately noticed, but sometimes it just takes knowing something does not feel right to see that it is not right.
“You should always pay attention to your surroundings,” Smith said.
He said Marshall County law enforcement agencies all strive to work with each other. He said this is his second year as chief and working towards his third year and all local law enforcement agencies have been great to work together.
Smith said a lot of the time all it takes is a phone call for the agencies to come together. He said Arab’s police chief called asking for some equipment for an upcoming event and he was glad to share. He said that if they have he ability to provide equipment, supplies or assistance, then the other departments are welcome to it, just like if they need something they just call. That includes manpower.
Kelley was previously charged in 2014 for claims of inappropriate touching of a 15-year-old Susan Moore High School student. Kelley was a teacher and coach at the school at that time. The trial was dismissed because the victim did not show up for trial. According to Bray, the victim may have left the state.