CEDARTOWN, Ga. - A lawyer for powerful state legislator Trey Kelley wants a criminal case against Kelley thrown out of court.
Representative Kelley, the House Majority Whip, is accused of a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct stemming from his actions following a deadly hit and run accident in Cedartown.
Lester Tate, attorney for Rep. Kelley, said his client was upset about the tragic hit and run accident that took the life of a Cedartown man, but Kelley did not commit a crime.
"Trey Kelley committed no crime here, because it is not a crime to fail to stop and render aid unless you were a driver," Tate told the judge.
The FOX 5 I-Team examined the case of Eric Keais, who was hit by a car while riding his bike in Cedartown.
A grand jury indicted the driver of the car - Ryan Dover, seen here on The Justice for Eric Keais Facebook page. The charges: hit and run and reckless conduct.
Dover left the scene of the accident, and rather than calling 911, called his friend, Rep. Kelley.
Representative Kelly told police the two searched the scene and found a "bicycle in a ditch" but no body. Representative Kelly also didn't call 911. He called the police chief Jamie Newsome, at his home.
In a police report, Chief Newsome said he got the call 46 minutes after the accident and sent an officer to check the scene. Eric Keais was found. Still alive. He later died at the hospital.
Trey Kelley was indicted on one misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct.
Attorney Lester Tate filed a motion asking the judge to quash or throw out the indictment, arguing Kelley committed no crime.
But, Polk County District Attorney Jack Browning said that argument was flawed. Browning told the judge that Kelley may not have had an obligation to call 911, since he was not involved in the accident, but he had an obligation to make sure Ryan Dover didn't break the law.
"He does have a duty not to help someone else continue to commit a crime that's being committed, that's the party to the crime," said Browning.
Visiting Judge Stephen Shuster said both lawyers raised good issues, and he asked for written briefs to be submitted, before he would rule on the motion.
A ruling that will determine if Representative Kelley will go to trial.
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