A Los Osos man who was arrested in Merced County in January after allegedly beating his girlfriend with a broomstick and threatening her with a machete, failed to appear at a mandatory court hearing last week, prompting officials to issue a $75,000 warrant for his arrest.
Jeffrey Allan Kelly, 38, was scheduled to begin trial in Merced Superior Court on Tuesday. He is facing three felony counts of corporal injury to a spouse and criminal threats — charges that carry enhancements for the use of a deadly weapon — as well as unlawful firearm activity. He pleaded not guilty in February and a judge held him to answer to the charges at a preliminary hearing in July, according to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.
If convicted on all counts, Kelly faces a maximum of six years and four months in state prison, a spokeswoman for the DA’s Office said Thursday.
Atwater police previously said that Kelly and his girlfriend, also a Los Osos resident, were traveling through town when they got into an argument inside their vehicle, described as a truck with a camper shell.
Kelly allegedly struck the woman with the broomstick and held a machete to the back of her neck before she was able to escape and flag down police. Officers searching the vehicle allegedly found the machete, a crossbow, nunchaku, three rifles, a BB gun and ammunition, the Merced Sun-Star reported.
Kelly’s court-appointed public defender could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.