HARRODSBURG — A Mercer County grand jury has indicted a Lexington man on a charge of murder in the shooting death of his former business associate in December.
James M. Kelley, 53, was indicted in the death of John "Bud" Dacci, 54, on Dec. 21. Kelley also was indicted on charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and first-degree assault for allegedly shooting Dacci's wife, Maryann, at the Dacci house on Ashley Camp Road near Herrington Lake.
Court records say Kelley forced his way into the Dacci house and shot John Dacci. Maryann Dacci tried to escape, but Kelley prevented her from doing so and then shot her. When Kelley fled, Maryann Dacci called 911.
The robbery count said Kelley used physical force and caused injury to John Dacci while committing theft.
State law requires an aggravating circumstance — an accompanying crime or circumstance — to make homicide eligible for the death penalty. The robbery and burglary counts are aggravating circumstances that could allow a prosecutor to seek the death penalty against Kelley. Commonwealth's Attorney Richard Bottoms was not available for comment Wednesday on whether he would seek the death penalty.
Police had sought Kelley for more than a day after the shooting. The search ended when Kelley shot himself outside Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center in Richmond on Dec. 22. Kelley was found in his truck outside the emergency room doors.
Dacci and Kelley had been business partners in Dacci Heating and Air Conditioning in Lexington. Kelley was listed as the secretary of that business until 2007, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State records.
Kelley is at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange for a mental evaluation. His bond is set at $1 million.
Kelley is represented by public defender Susanne McCollough. No arraignment has been scheduled for Kelley; the earliest that he might be arraigned is April 12 in Harrodsburg.