News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 22, 2013

Mallory gets 111 years for shooting

Families of victims receive closure; shooting killed 1, wounded 2

TERRE HAUTE — Emotions ran high Friday in a Vigo County courtroom where 22-year-old William Mallory received a 111-year prison sentence in the August 2012 shooting death of Dustin Kelly and the shooting of two other men.

Mallory cried in court as he apologized to Kelly’s mother, Kathey Calloway, saying multiple times, “I did not mean to take your son away from you.”

In announcing Mallory’s sentence, however, Vigo Superior Court 6 Judge Michael Lewis noted that Mallory’s tearful statements were the first expressions of remorse heard from the defendant.

In October, a jury found Mallory guilty of murder in the death of Dustin Kelly. Mallory was also found guilty of attempted murder in the shootings of Terrance Trotter and Donte Pettus outside the Ballyhoo Tavern at Ninth and Chestnut streets in Terre Haute in the early morning hours of Aug. 24, 2012.

Mallory’s mother testified at Friday’s hearing that she bought her son the gun used in the shootings because she was worried about his safety while he lived in Terre Haute. Lavona Mallory said there was a backlog of gun permit applications at the time, and that is why her son did not get one.

Mallory was also convicted of possessing a handgun without a permit, a class-A misdemeanor.

Friday’s hearing began with an admonishment from Judge Lewis to the gallery, where spectators were warned that any outbursts would result in a contempt charge and 90 days in the Vigo County Jail. Quiet sobbing could be heard, but there were no actions such as those that led to a violent melee in open court last year when Mallory was arraigned in the shooting.

Extra security precautions were in place for the sentencing hearing on Friday, as they were during the jury trial for the protection of jurors, witnesses and the public. More than a dozen uniformed sheriff’s deputies were stationed inside the courtroom Friday, as well as several others monitoring the courthouse interior.

Mallory had faced a maximum sentence of 166 years in prison. Defense attorney Vernon Lorenz asked that the judge consider the defendant’s age, lack of criminal history and the remorse shown Friday in court. Lorenz asked for less than the advisory sentence for each charge, and that they be served concurrently.

Deputy Prosecutor Chris Wrede asked for a sentence of 116 years in prison, with consecutive sentences of 55 years for the murder, 30 years for both of the class-A felony attempted murder charges, and one year for the misdemeanor. Two class-A felony counts of aggravated battery were considered lesser included charges of the attempted murder convictions.

Prosecutor Terry Modesitt told the Tribune-Star that his team researched what would be considered appropriate for the sentencing and came up with the advisory sentence for each conviction.

“It was essentially a life sentence,” Modesitt said of the 116 years term. “A lot of lives were destroyed as a result of this. But, we can bring about justice for people in this case.”

The mother of Dustin Kelly, Kathey Calloway, read a letter in court in which she called Mallory “a monster.”

Following the sentencing, Calloway talked to news media.

“I thought I would feel good, but it still doesn’t bring my son back,” she said, adding that she was happy with the length of the sentence. “He doesn’t need to be on the streets to do something like this to someone else.”

The shootings occurred in an Indiana State University-owned parking lot outside the tavern as patrons were leaving the area. Kelly, along with his cousin Donte Pettus and friend Terrance Trotter, were walking to their vehicles in the parking lot when they encountered Mallory and two other men.

The jury heard testimony that Mallory was waiting for Pettus to approach because the two men had exchanged words concerning a prior girlfriend of Pettus; a girl Mallory had also dated. Witnesses stated that Mallory left the tavern prior to closing time and went to his parked car, where he retrieved a handgun and loaded it before sticking it in his pants pocket. Mallory then moved his car from one parking lot to another, allegedly to park near his cousin.

Mallory told police that he felt threatened by Pettus and that he shot the three men in self-defense.

At Friday’s hearing, Judge Lewis noted that no punches were exchanged between Mallory and his friends or Kelly and his friends, disputing Mallory’s claim that he was being beaten down. He also noted that Mallory could have left the tavern and gone home, rather than hang around waiting for the other men to exit the bar.

“Not only did Ms. Calloway lose a son, in a way, your mom is losing a son, even though you’re still alive,” Lewis told Mallory.

According to sentencing guidelines, because there are three victims in the case, the court could sentence Mallory to consecutive sentences for felony murder, which has a sentencing range of 45 to 65 years in prison, and the two counts of attempted murder, which have a sentencing range of 20 to 50 years in prison.

Lewis set consecutive sentences of 55 years for the murder, 30 years for the attempted murder of Pettus, 25 years for the attempted murder of Trotter and one year for misdemeanor, for a total of 111 years. Mallory will receive credit for 455 days already spent in the Vigo County Jail.

Mallory indicated that he plans to appeal his conviction and sentencing.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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