Family still waiting for closure 4 years after woman murdered in Henderson County


In December 2014, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office charged Brendan Allen with first-degree murder. He's accused of killing his own mother, Margaret (Peggy) Kelly. (Picture credit: Shawn Kelly)

A family is still waiting for closure four years and four months the death of their loved one.

In December 2014, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office charged Brendan Allen with first-degree murder.

He's accused of killing his own mother, Margaret Kelly.

Family members say that since then, this case has pretty much been at a standstill.

The district attorney's office acknowledges there have been significant delays in this case. They say it's due to Allen being legally incompetent to appear in court.

Now, Margaret "Peggy" Kelly's brother, Michael, and sister, Shawn, say they want the public to know what they have been dealing with.

Friday, they reflected on that horrible day, back in December 2014, with News 13.

"I never thought anybody in our family, anyone I ever knew, would be in that situation. It was a complete and total shock," said Michael Kelly.

Even more shocking was finding out their nephew, Brendan Allen, was charged.

"We all knew that Brendan was different. That he was strange. He said weird things. We had no idea he was potentially physically violent," added Michael Kelly.

Michael said neither did his sister, Peggy. But he does believe she knew her son needed help.

"She had two books on her bedside table when she passed away, and they were both about dealing with a child with mental illness. And that hit really hard to me, because she was trying to do everything she could," added Michael Kelly.

Michael and Shawn say Allen still suffers from a mental illness. It's one of the reasons they've been waiting for closure now for four years.

"It sure as heck would be good if they could get something actually done rather than, you know, just sending him back and forth like a ping-pong ball between the jail here in Henderson County and Morganton mental hospital," said Michael Kelly.

News 13 tried to find out why this is happening.

District Attorney Greg Newman told us since the case is pending, he's bound by ethical rules not to comment on it publicly until it's resolved.

For Shawn and Michael, they just hope their worst fear in all of this doesn't come true.

"I think the scariest thing that can happen would be for him to be allowed to leave that mental institution, or prison, or wherever he ultimately winds up. So I'm not sure closure, by the definition that I have for it, will ever happen," said Michael Kelly.

Both Kellys know they'll never stop fighting for justice for their sister, and for the safety of the rest of their family.

"He's proven several times that he's not going to continue taking his medicine, and that he's a murderer," said Shawn Kelly.

"That's why punishing him, I don't think is important to us. It's protecting the rest of the world from him," added Michael Kelly.

Michael Kelly also wants to urge other people going through similar situations like this to make sure to communicate.

"I hope that they’re communicating, even if they don’t think anything’s gonna happen. They need to communicate it," said Michael Kelly.

District Attorney Greg Newman confirmed the case has been rescheduled for a hearing on the issue of sanity for May 6 at 2 p.m.