Homicide

North Carolina murder suspect, 81, is 'danger' to public, prosecutors say

A North Carolina woman who is 81 and confined to a wheelchair would not seem to fit the profile of a dangerous criminal suspect but that is how prosecutors are describing her, according to a report Monday.

Margaret Kellis, of Aberdeen, is accused of killing her husband and has been locked up since her arrest, the Southern Pines Pilot reports.

Moore County prosecutors labeled Kellis dangerous at a bail hearing last week.

They said that in the lock-up she threatened to kill another detainee 45 years younger than her.

She’s also tried to “intimidate” witnesses in the murder case to change statements, prosecutor Peter Strickland said, according to the paper.

He told the judge Kellis was a “danger to herself and others” and that she posed a flight risk if released on bail, the paper reported.

“I have been told by family members that if she is released, we will never see her again,” Homicide Detective Sgt. Anthony Guerra told the judge during the hearing.

Court-appointed defense attorney Arthur Donadio urged the judge to lower the bail from $1 million to $100,000, the paper reported.

He said Kellis wanted to get out to see her son who is terminally ill.

At the end of the hearing, Judge James Webb denied the request.

Dallas Kellis, 76, was found dead of gunshot wounds to the abdomen and head in July 2016. She was arrested three months later, according to The Pilot.

The paper reported that a transcript of the 911 call shows Kellis took her time to inform the operator of the emergency.

“My nephew died down in Bladen County and we were going down there,” she said, according to the transcript. “My husband told me when I woke up this morning (to) run up to McDonald’s and get a ham sandwich and when you get back we’ll get dressed and go, that way we won’t have no mess to clean up.

"So I went up there and when I came back, I didn’t go in the room, I just went to the door and called him and said come on and eat your sandwich. He didn’t answer me, but that’s not unusual. He does that a lot. He’ll doze back off. So I went back in there and sat down and ate mine. He hadn’t come, so I went and called him. He didn’t answer me. I went on to the room and I seen him …”

The transcript shows the dispatcher interrupted saying, “O.K. ma’am, what’s going on?”

“I think he’s dead,” she said.