Man arrested in Newport, TN for failure to register as a sex offender

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – U.S. Marshal James T. Fowler, Eastern District of Tennessee, announces the arrest of RICHARD ERLING KELLY yesterday in Newport, Tennessee.

KELLY was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service and Oak Ridge Police Department on a warrant charging him with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender issued in New Orleans, Louisiana.

KELLY, a 55 year old naturalized American citizen from Norway, was convicted in Seattle, Washington in 1980 of Rape.

In 1989 KELLY was convicted of Kidnapping, Sexual Assault and Failure to register as a Sex Offender in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Again in 2009 KELLY was convicted of failure to Register as a Sex Offender in Phoenix, Arizona.

Earlier this month Deputy U.S. Marshals and New Orleans P.D. determined KELLY was living in New Orleans as an Unregistered Sex Offender and he fled the city before he could be arrested.

U.S. Marshal Fowler said “We were notified by the U.S. Marshals Service in New Orleans that they believed that KELLY had moved to Tennessee. Our investigation confirmed that KELLY had moved to the Newport area and evidence shows that he has failed to register as a sex offender here in Tennessee.” Initial information indicated KELLY might be living in a travel trailer on a mountaintop near Hartford, Tennessee.

Local investigation showed that KELLY had left the travel trailer and moved in with an adult female, Petrina Martinez, at 339 Alex Street, Newport.

At approximately 9:00 AM on the morning of August 30th law enforcement officers with the U.S. Marshals Service and Cocke County Sheriff’s Office approached the apartment and caught Martinez attempting to leave via the back door.

Martinez was stopped and told deputies that KELLY was inside the apartment. The deputies made entry into the apartment and found KELLY in the living room smoking marijuana.

He was arrested and charged with violations of Tennessee State Code for failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Possession of Marijuana for Resale. A further investigation of KELLY by the U.S.

Marshals Service into possible federal charges against KELLY has been initiated.


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