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Published August 17, 2023

Text Message Case 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan
Paul Kelley, Jr. (Photo: submitted)
Paul Kelley, Jr. (Photo: submitted)

Need Sugar for Kool-Aid 

MINOT – Paul Kelly, Jr., 44, Minot, made an appearance before Judge Gary Lee in North-Central District Court Thursday in a case that began with a text message, “I need sugar for my Kool-Aid”, to a third person. That person alerted Minot Police to conduct a welfare check at a residence in the southeast part of the city. 

According to court testimony from Memorie Andrade, Minot PD, an open door to the residence was slammed shut after the arrival of PD officers. Eventually a woman, said to be visible shaken by the experience, emerged from the home and told officers that Kelly was inside and had threatened to kill her or burn the house down if she went outside. 

Police say Kelly was finally apprehended following a one-hour standoff in which police entered the home in force, finding Kelly inside a closet. A scuffle ensued and continued until Kelly was tazed three times. 

In the courtroom, Kelly was shaking his head “no” upon hearing testimony that he threatened to burn the house down. However, Lee determined that there was enough probable cause for all eight charges in the case to proceed. 

Kelly entered “not guilty” pleas to three Class C felonies – Terrorizing-Adult Victim, Felonious Restraint, and Preventing Arrest; and to two Misdemeanor A counts of Violation of an Order Prohibiting Contact and to thee Misdemeanor A counts of Disobedience of a Judicial Order. Class C felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Class A misdemeanors carry the possibility of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The text message to the third party was a previously arranged code by the victim. Kelly has a lengthy list of previous charges in Minot, including more than a dozen felonies, dating back to 2012. 

A pretrial conference in the case has been set for October 25, 2023. 

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