Jacob Holly Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Charge

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Jacob Holly, accused of killing a father and stabbing the man’s son this summer near Elkins, pleaded not guilty Friday at his arraignment before a magistrate at the Washington County Detention Center.

Holly, being held on a $100,000 bond, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree battery, records show. Dressed in horizontally striped detention center clothing, Holly pleaded not guilty to both charges at about 9 a.m. before Magistrate Judge Ray Reynolds.

Holly is set to appear in Washington County Circuit Court before Judge Mark Lindsay on Nov. 13, records show.

Holly, 27, of Rogers was arrested July 15 after officials recovered the body of Chris Kelley, 44, of Elkins, from the White River on that day.

Holly is accused of killing Kelley and stabbing his son, Shawn Kelley, 22, also of Elkins, near the White River bridge on Arkansas 74.

Holly flagged down an off-duty officer about 10 p.m. on July 14 and said he stabbed two people who were trying to drown him.

“The victim showed up at the Shell station in Elkins with some cuts and stabbed wounds,” Sgt. Tion Augustine said.

Washington County sheriff’s deputies and Elkins police searched into the night on July 14 under the bridge and a wooded area for Chris Kelley. The search turned to the White River, where his body was found about 2 p.m. on July 15.

Alcohol was involved, police said, but they did not know to what degree.

In the backseat of a patrol car, Holly yelled that he was the victim and was the one who had been trying to call 911.

“Help!,” he yelled as deputies drove him away before midnight. “I’ve been denied medical treatment!”

Police denied the claim.

“He complained that he has a broken hand, he has from what I understand a cut in his fingers and a scraped knee and chin,” Augustine said. “He was checked by [EMS] personnel.”