Crime

State attorney arrested in SLO courtroom gets lesser charge

Attorney, bailiff scuffle in San Luis Obispo courtroom

In this video obtained via a California Public Records Act request, state Deputy Attorney General Jennie Mariah Kelly is seen struggling with a bailiff during a morning recess Oct. 20, 2015, at San Luis Obispo Superior Court. There is no audio wit
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In this video obtained via a California Public Records Act request, state Deputy Attorney General Jennie Mariah Kelly is seen struggling with a bailiff during a morning recess Oct. 20, 2015, at San Luis Obispo Superior Court. There is no audio wit

The California Deputy Attorney General accused of resisting a police officer after a rough take-down by bailiffs in a San Luis Obispo courtroom in October pleaded no contest last Thursday to a lesser charge of disturbing the peace.

Jennie Mariah Kelly, 49, of Thousand Oaks, will pay a $1,000 fine and complete court-ordered anger management classes.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed the original misdemeanor charge.

Kelly was defending the state in a wrongful termination case on Oct. 20 when she was told by a courtroom bailiff during a morning recess to stop shouting at the plaintiff’s attorney. According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Kelly was admonished several times by the judge during the weeks-long civil trial for “inappropriate behavior.”

Surveillance video of the incident shows Kelly jerk away from the sheriff’s deputy, who then takes her to the ground and places her in handcuffs as other bailiffs arrive to assist. Kelly is led out of the courtroom through a back door.

The California Department of Justice has not commented publicly on the case, but Kelly’s attorney, Kara Stein-Conway, previously told The Tribune that Kelly was “battered” by the bailiff.

The Sheriff’s Office has stood by the deputy’s actions.

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