WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A man who stalked a Walton County woman before breaking into her home with a hammer and a knife was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday.
Richard Lewis Kelley, Jr., was sentenced to life in prison for burglary of a dwelling while armed, according to a news release.
He was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Shortly after Hurricane Michael in 2018, Kelley helped a woman change a tire down the street from her house. He also confided in her that he had fled Marianna, Fla., since the hurricane and had just been released from the hospital due to a motorcycle accident, showing her a fresh scar from a surgery.
Kelley then allegedly followed the woman to her home in Freeport, Fla., that evening, waited for her husband to leave in the morning, and broke into her house armed with a hammer and a knife, and wearing a baseball cap.
The victim said that she recognized Kelley as the man who helped her change her tire the day before and successfully fought him off, striking him in the scar and causing him to flee without his weapons and baseball cap.
The Walton County Sherriff’s Office conducted an investigation based on DNA found on Kelley’s knife and hat. A U.S. Marshal fugitive task force arrested Kelley in Cottonwood, Ala.
Kelley neither disputed nor admitted to the alleged crimes during his trial in March.