Parents charged in disturbing 2014 neglect case get new court date

John Kelley (Photo: IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Two Marion County parents were expected to plead guilty Friday in a case that led to their 18-year-old daughter’s death, but it didn't happen.

Instead of pleading guilty Friday, a new pre-trial court date was set for John and Lavonne Kelley on June 16.

The Kelleys were arrested in 2015 for neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. The investigation started the summer before.

Officers came to their home on Aug. 4, 2014 and found 18-year-old Linda, who was born with spina bifida, dead in the home. Court documents say the teenager, who was paralyzed, was found "lying on her back in the kitchen wearing a diaper." Her lower body was covered in bedsores.

The coroner says poor hygiene was a contributing factor in Linda's death. The poor living conditions included finding cockroaches, dead flies on a fly strip, overflowing trash containers and dog feces on the floor.

One Marion County judge called it one of the worst neglect cases she had ever seen.

Court records show Child Protective Services substantiated neglect in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2012 and 2013. Two DCS workers were fired after Linda's death. They reportedly visited the Kelleys' home, which was described as "filthy," six days before the girl died, but did not report her condition.

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