DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A dual hearing of sorts is expected to begin on Wednesday afternoon for one of the women charged with “intentionally” pushing a missing woman off of a cliff.
Loretta Kay Carr, 43, and Jessie Eden Kelly, 22, were charged in the death of Mary Isbell, who had been missing since the fall of 2021. Carr’s defense requested that all court documents be sealed and that all pretrial proceedings be closed. The judge granted the motion to close the proceedings but denied their request to seal the court documents.
This comes after a judge granted a motion for a gag order preventing basically anyone involved in the case from sharing any details with media and a motion denying cameras during the proceedings.
That was then followed by a request to use all body cam footage from officers involving a search of her home, footage from their interactions with her daughter, and footage including Carr’s fiancee.
The state is seeking the death penalty against Carr.
Jessie Eden Kelly was booked into the Cherokee County Jail on July 22, after she had been jailed in Pennsylvania and was awaiting extradition to Missouri, where she had prior felony burglary charges.
Both women are charged with capital murder and kidnapping in connection to the death of Mary Elizabeth Isbell on October 18, 2021, court records show. According to the criminal complaints filed in each case, both Carr and Kelly “intentionally” caused Isbell’s death “by pushing her off of a cliff.”
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office’s Chief Investigator Nick Brown described what the women did to Isbell as “inhuman and brutal.”
While it is unclear whether Carr or Kelly cooperated with authorities, the DCSO did say that one of them helped lead authorities to Isbell’s remains, where a search team found them at the Little River Canyon National Park on June 28.
The Alabama Department of Forensic Science’s Huntsville Laboratory later confirmed the remains as Isbell’s – on what would have been her 39th birthday.
Investigators also said they found physical evidence at Isbell’s home, leading to the arrests of Carr and Kelly. According to court documents, the mother and daughter are both accused of kidnapping and killing Mary Isbell.
A preliminary hearing for Kelly has been scheduled for August 21. Court documents show she is also requesting media to be prohibited from her trial.
Carr’s hearing is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the DeKalb County Courthouse.