Trespassing, possession charges dropped, but North Georgia prosecutor resigns

Trespassing, possession charges dropped, but North Georgia prosecutor resigns

June 7th, 2018 by Tyler Jett in Breaking News

This story was updated June 7, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.

Michael David Kelley

Michael David Kelley

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The charges filed against a Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit assistant district attorney have been dropped, but he has quit the job anyway.

Michael David Kelley tendered his resignation with District Attorney Buzz Franklin's office Thursday morning, said his lawyer, McCracken Poston. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department arrested Kelley on charges of criminal trespass and unlawful possession of a prescription drug on May 7.

Prosecutors in the Nashville-Davidson County District Attorney's Office dropped the charges against Kelly on May 25, saying the arresting officers should have shown more discretion in the case.

According to an incident report, a security guard at the Omni Hotel called police around 1 a.m. on May 7 because Kelley smoked inside. The security guard said Kelley argued with him when he told him to stop, flashing a "police-type badge" at the guard.

When officers arrived, Kelley was in his hotel room. They knocked on the door, and Kelley yelled at them.

"No one needs your help," he allegedly said.

When Kelley opened the door, the officers searched his room and found a Clonazepam pill. That drug is used to treat anxiety, panic disorders and seizures.

Poston said Kelley has a prescription for the medication — he just didn't happen to have it on him at the time. He said the officers were overzealous when they responded to the security guard's call that morning.

He said the problems started after Kelley finished eating and drinking at the hotel's bar. He tried to put the bill on his room charges, but something was wrong with his key. Poston said the restaurant's staff kicked him out and accused him of trying to steal from them.

"It just seemed to be a classic case of an abuse of officer discretion," Poston said. "The hotel was siccing the police department on one of its own paying guests. The lead prosecutor in Nashville saw through it pretty quickly."

Although the charges have been dropped, Poston said Kelley wants to restart his career somewhere away from his current job in North Georgia.

Franklin did not return a call or email seeking comment Thursday. Kelley was assigned to the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit's Catoosa County office.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or tjett@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @LetsJett.

 


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