Kershaw accused killer in case of slain teen waives bond hearing

jmonk@thestate.comMarch 3, 2014 

The man charged in the strangling death of an 18-year-old woman will stay in jail until his trial, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Monday.

Stephen Kelly, 21, who will face charges of murder, kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the death of Briana Rabon, waived a bond hearing Monday, Matthews said. Rabon’s body was found last week on an Elgin-area dirt road.

Further charges against Kelly may be brought, officials have said. He remains in the Kershaw County jail.

Rabon and Kelly attended Lugoff-Elgin High School, but it is not known how well, if at all, they knew each other. Law officers have not said publicly whether they believe the two met up voluntarily or whether she was abducted against her will.

In any case, Rabon — who was petite and weighed about 100 pounds, according to law officials — would have had a hard time defending herself against someone of Kelly’s size – about 5-10 and 160 pounds.

Matthews said he would have opposed letting Kelly go free on bond, had the suspect requested a bond hearing.

Law officials, with the help of SLED crime lab analysts, have found vital evidence on the road where Rabon was found and in the suspect’s car, officials have said. Matthews also consulted with the FBI on the case.

According to previous reports, at the time of his arrest Friday, Kelly was on active probation after serving four months on a charge of receiving stolen goods worth more than $10,000, a felony. He had been released in November on three years’ probation, according to Kershaw court records.

However, a spokesman for the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services said Monday Kelly had not been on probation.

“He had a type of sentence where if he paid for the probation, plus a penalty – an additional 20 percent that comes to us – then the probation was terminated,” department spokesman Peter O’Boyle said Monday. “He had the type of probation where he or his family did that.”

Had Kelly been on active probation at the time of the murder charge being filed against him, PPPS could have brought additional charges against him for probation violation.

Kelly also had been arrested last summer for first-offense criminal domestic violence, with Matthews alleging Kelly “beat his girlfriend.”

Kelly asked for a jury trial on that charge but has not gone to court, according to Kershaw County court records.

Hundreds of people turned out over the weekend for funeral services for Rabon, a Camden native who graduated from high school last year and worked as a hostess at the Texas Roadhouse and Tilted Kilt.

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