On September 18, 2015, a man was convicted of the first-degree murder of a woman in an apartment in Chicago in 2007. The defendant, Aaron Kelly, was sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment with the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), according to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Kelly, 50, has been prosecuted for brutally stabbing and beating Edna Marie Smith on the night of July 4, 2007, resulting in the death of the woman in her apartment at the 7100 blocks of South Talman Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.
Marie’s body was found on the floor in her apartment rear bedroom, with a serrated knife and wooden post beside her. Bloodstains were also reported on the outside ledge of the bedroom window and its curtain, and the recovered towel from the kitchen sink. The defendant reportedly had a laceration on his hand and visited the Mercy Hospital.
Evidence at trial includes the testimonies of several occurrence witnesses such as Sammie Smith (Marie’s estranged husband), Korderro Green (was in Marie’s apartment earlier that day), Jessica Ford and DeEdna Porter (both observed the defendant descending from Marie’s window and dropping a knife), and several law enforcers and medical examiners who were in charge of the prosecution and investigation on the defendant. The occurrence witnesses identified the defendant as the man observed climbing out of the window of Marie’s apartment. An acquaintance who encountered Marie regularly also claimed that Kelly and Marie were well acquainted.
In August of 2007, information from Kelly’s brother was received by Sergeant John Foster, which urged the Sergeant to inspect on the defendant and account for him as a suspect. The information given led to the son of the defendant, in which a buccal swab was obtained and was sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab. In May of 2008, the DNA test results were released, and an arrest warrant for Kelly was subsequently commanded. Later on, Kelly was deported back to Chicago from Los Angeles, California.
According to Dr. Stephen Cina, the chief medical examiner for Cook County, Marie had sustained 93 external injuries, 46 of which were blunt force injuries, and 47 were incised wounds. The autopsy also revealed that the cause of death was cranial cerebral injuries made worse by the incised wounds, further certifying that Marie’s death was a homicide.
Along with the autopsy, the state’s evidence also included the testimonies of two expert witnesses that claimed the analyzed samples from the murder weapons were detected to have one major profile matching Marie’s DNA profile, and one minor human pattern, which matched the defendant’s DNA profile.
The judgment of the court was delivered at the George Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago by the Cook County Judge Kevin Sheehan, who sentenced Aaron Kelley to a 35-year prison term for the first-degree murder of Edna Marie Smith.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez applauded Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael O’Malley and Paul Joyce for commendable work on the 2007 murder case.
Updated: July 20, 2020