November 20, 2013
Chad Thomas Kelly offered “no contest” to misdemeanor, negligent homicide in Jackson County court today during the criminal case that started here on Monday.
Kelly was charged by the State for first-degree manslaughter in the death of James Charydczak, while engaged in a misdemeanor, and for leaving the scene of a fatality accident. The accident happened on Jan. 17, shortly after 8 p.m. in the 500 block of Tamarack Road. Altus resident Charydczak, 26, was riding his bicycle when he was said to have been struck by a 2000 Toyota Tundra driven by the defendant.
The Defendant’s attorney, David Cummins, stated that Kelly enters a plea of guilty.
“On Jan. 17, 2013, he operated a motor vehicle on the highways of Jackson County resulting in a collision, resulting in the death of a human being, in reckless disregard of the safety of others by failing to pay full attention to his driving pursuant of Oklahoma Statues,” Cummins said.
Sentencing for Kelly is set for Feb. 5 at 9:30 a.m.
Kelly faces up to one year in county jail and a fine of $1,000. Kelly will also lose his driver’s license for one year, with removed driving restriction during day light hours.
Assistant District Attorney Ken Darby said, “The way the evidence unfolded, particularly yesterday afternoon about the legal issues of the cyclist, his equipment, where he was on the roadway, and then the ruling on those legal issues and how they could be presented and how the jury would be instructed, it just changed the dynamics of what were dealing with. “Therefore we entered the negotiations and ended up where we’re at. Its just a hard case. It’s a bad situation all the way around, and we just want to do what is right, and just hopefully this is the right thing.”
Darby said that after the accident in January, Kelly had called 911 farther down Tamarack Road to let dispatchers know he had hit something, and to have someone check it out.
“I’m glad to see it resolved without Mr. Kelly Going to the penitentiary,” said Cummins. “I have believed in him all the way through and I still do.”