Facing 38 years to life in prison, Fresno businessman Kelly Duley started his sentencing hearing on Thursday by asking a Superior Court judge to order “the little kid with glasses” to get him his pills for anxiety.
When Judge Timothy Kams told Duley he had no clue what he was talking about, Duley lashed out, telling Kams that if the judge wanted to look like movie star Bruce Willis, then he needed to wear a green flight jacket – not a black robe.
Duley then began cursing and calling people in court derogatory names.
With six bailiffs hovering over him, he called prosecutor Andrew Janz a “Polynesian Princess.”
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He also verbally attacked Sarah Fisher, whose testimony led a jury in March to convict Duley of assault and battery for crushing a cocktail glass into her face.
He’s a smart man, but really ill.
Andrea “Andy” Salazar, fiancée of Kelly Duley
Because of Duley’s outbursts and bizarre behavior, Kams stopped the proceedings and ordered jail medical staff to examine him. Kams ordered Duley to return to court on Friday to determine whether he is legally competent to be sentenced.
Afterward, Janz said he wouldn’t be surprised if Duley was engaging in another one of his stalling tactics. Since his conviction, Duley, who represents himself, has disrupted several court proceedings, fired two attorneys and filed unsuccessful motions to disqualify Kams and Janz.
“I’m frustrated that the victim and her family have had to endure this delay of justice,” Janz said.
But Duley’s fiancée, Andrea “Andy” Salazar, said Duley is mentally ill and a victim of the criminal justice system. She said his conviction should be tossed because he’s was not legally competent to stand trial.
“He’s bipolar and suffers from hallucinations,” Salazar said. “He takes a cocktail of pills prescribed by a psychiatrist.”
The Duley case is unusual because he had a thriving painting business, called Duley’s Quality Painting, before he got into legal trouble. He also owns 30 acres of organic grapes and made money buying and selling antiques, Salazar said.
A year ago, he won the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital raffle and was awarded a five-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom home off Sierra Avenue near Highway 168.
His run-in with Fisher, Salazar said, has ruined his life.
“He’s a smart man, but really ill,” Salazar said. “They (court and law enforcement officials) don’t like him because because they think he is a rich, spoiled white kid.”
“But he has earned everything on his own,” Salazar said, noting that Duley’s father was a career criminal.
Court records say Duley, who turns 46 on Christmas eve, has three pending criminal cases, including his sentencing for seriously injuring Fisher during the early hours of July 17, 2013, inside the now-closed Score Sports Cafe & Lounge on Olive Avenue in Fresno’s Tower District.
I’m frustrated that the victim and her family have had to endure this delay of justice.
Fresno prosecutor Andrew Janz
He also has felony convictions in 1991 for assault with a deadly weapon; in 1994 for negligently discharging a firearm at a party; and 2001 for conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
During his trial in March, Janz told the jury that witnesses saw Duley hit Fisher in the face with a cocktail glass after she rejected his advances. Fisher testified that she received 29 stitches on her face and nine on her chest to close gashes caused by the broken cocktail glass.
Duley testified that Fisher instigated the fight by slapping him twice before hitting him with a beer bottle. He also said he was not attracted to Fisher. But no one saw Fisher hit Duley with a beer bottle, Janz said.
Defense attorney Glen Neal argued that Duley was defending himself against Fisher, saying she was the aggressor who drank alcohol while on medication for a bipolar disorder. Neal told the jury that Fisher, who testified she was 5 foot 10 inches tall 10 and 225 pounds at the time of the altercation, hit the 6-foot, 200-pound Duley so hard that her punch to his jaw felt like being hit with a beer bottle.
“She's a big, strong woman,” Neal said.
A jury of nine women and three men deliberated over three days before finding Duley guilty of two felony charges. After his conviction, Duley, who had been free on bail, was taken into custody.
On Thursday, Salazar contended law enforcement has been harassing Duley since his arrest in the Fisher case. She pointed to his arrest in October 2014, when he charged with solicitation of murder, court records say. His bail was $1.36 million. Authorities say he wanted to hire hitmen to kill Fresno prosecutor Dennis Lewis. But Salazar said two former workers were trying to extort Duley and made up the allegation.
In March, a jury of nine women and three men deliberated over three days before finding Duley guilty of two felony charges
Duley spent several months in jail before the District Attorney’s Office dismissed the case in January 2015 “due to insufficient evidence,” court records say.
Duley was arrested again in July 2015 on misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and attempted battery and assault on a Clovis police officer. His trial is pending. He was then arrested in August 2015 and charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and assaulting Fresno police officer. That trial is pending.
“It’s clear, they are out to get him,” Salazar said.
While awaiting his sentencing for striking Fisher, Duley has filed a complaint for damages against Fresno County. In his Oct. 8 complaint, Duley accuses Kams, Janz and District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp of kidnapping him, prosecutorial misconduct, slander and falsely imprisoning him in jail. He is asking for $750 million in damages.
In his Nov. 7 motion to disqualify Kams, Duley contends the judge has committed “multiple criminal acts.” Duley said he has asked 19 government agencies to investigate the judge.