Richland murder suspect Aaron Christopher Kelly’s arraignment pushed back for mental evaluation
RICHLAND, Wash. — Aaron Christopher Kelly was set to appear in Benton County Superior Court for his formal arraignment on two separate charges, first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
However, it was agreed that he should undergo mental evaluation—pushing his next court date to April.
The proceeding began with a lengthy assessment of whether Kelly should be shackled during this court appearance and for all others moving forward. Ultimately, it was decided that Kelly would be shackled for this appearance alone.
Three people identified by the judge as family members of the defendant attended the arraignment.
Charged with First-Degree Murder and Attempted First-Degree Murder
On February 8, 2022, Kelly appeared before a Benton County judge and was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder and was then booked into Benton County Jail on a $1 million bail.
During the court hearing, the judge ordered that even if Kelly were released on bail, he would not be allowed to leave Benton County.
Fatal Shooting at Richland Fred Meyer
On February 7, 2022, Kelly was the suspect in question after a gunman opened fire in the Richland Fred Meyer store Monday morning, killing Instacart employee Justin Krumbah and critically injuring another Fred Meyer employee.
After an hours-long manhunt, Kelly was arrested that same night on I-90 between Sprague and the City of Spokane, and law enforcement said he was transported back to the Tri-Cities in connection to the shooting.
Court documents report suspected criminal history
In an earlier report, KAPP-KVEW obtained more than 100 pages of court documents involving Kelly, from civil and criminal cases filed in Benton and Franklin counties.
KAPP-KVEWs Reporter Emily Goodell reviewed the documents and found reports of Kelly’s “erratic” behavior dating back at least two years. Court documents also showed Kelly had been accused of suspected shoplifting and alleged burglary.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE FEB. 7 SHOOTING AT FRED MEYER IN RICHLAND:
- Fred Meyer offers statement on fatal shooting at Richland store
- Community rallies around Fred Meyer shooting victims and families
- Fred Meyer employee in critical condition, armed suspect at large in deadly Richland shooting
- Richland murder suspect Aaron Christopher Kelly arrested on I-90 near Spokane for Fred Meyer shooting
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