MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis police officer has been indicted on three felony charges of misconduct, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
According to officials, 49-year-old Eric Kelly “committed acts that constituted an unauthorized exercise of official power, committed acts under color of office or employment that exceeded his official power, and received a benefit not otherwise authorized by law.”
WREG first reported on Kelly’s case eight months ago when it came to light that he was reportedly having a sexual relationship with a murder suspect in a case he was working. At the time, he reportedly knew she was a high-up member of the Gangster Disciples.
Documents show Kelly was the lead investigator in a case involving the murder of a 60-year-old chemist named Robert Glidden.
They said during the investigation, he met a female suspect named Bridgett Stafford and charged her with accessory after the fact, saying that she drove the suspects somewhere to use the victim’s credit card.
Documents showed he brought Stafford on a work trip to Alabama along with another officer Sgt. Sheila Green. The pair stayed in the same hotel room.
During his internal affairs hearing, Kelly said the woman “had nowhere to go” and he “took sympathy on her.”
According to the file, Stafford told them she smoked marijuana with Green’s wife before they went on the trip.
Documents also revealed how MPD found out about the relationship between the officer and suspect. That happened when her boyfriend told the FBI.
MPD “administratively charged” Kelly with seven department violations. They admonished both Green and Kelly for not reporting the suspect’s presence on the trip to Alabama. In addition, documents showed Kelly got a $327 speeding ticket while on the trip but did not report it to MPD supervisors. They got pulled over while Stafford was in the car in possession of marijuana provided by Kelly, documents showed.
He also gave Stafford more than $2,000 during their relationship as she became a stripper at the Gold Club, the documents said.
A police department investigation found he violated policy, but before his hearing, he retired.
Back then, D.A. Amy Weirich looked into the case and said there would be no criminal charges, saying at the time, “there are no state criminal laws that Eric Kelly’s conduct violated.”
But a new unit established to review officer misconduct cases was just getting underway and Kelly’s case would be the first it would take up.
The D.A.’s office would not comment Tuesday on whether Kelly’s indictment came from that second review.
WREG investigators spent months digging into Kelly’s MPD files earlier this year, finding a long list of disciplinary charges, suspensions and citizens’ complaints.
A court date has not been set in this case.