A 26-year-old man was sentenced to more than two decades in state prison after he was found guilty of felony assault and violating an order of protection. A jury in Albany County Court in New York determined that he intentionally caused physical harm to his girlfriend, who he was prohibited from contacting due to the order of protection.
Darnell Kellum was accused of beating his girlfriend and threatening to kill her. In December 2019, he was found guilty of second-degree assault, second-degree strangulation, two counts of second-degree burglary and two counts of aggravated criminal contempt. All of the charges are felonies. He was also found guilty of one count of tampering with a witness, which is a misdemeanor.
Kellum’s 22-year prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release. According to the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, a court had issued an order of protection requiring Kellum to stay away from his girlfriend. However, he violated the order on two occasions by having contact with her.
The first incident occurred when Kellum repeatedly kicked the door of a hotel room where his girlfriend was staying until he was able to enter. He then hit her and shoved her head through drywall.
Kellum unlawfully entered the woman’s hotel room a second time the next month. Prosecutors said he whipped her face and head with a metal chain, along with choking her until she was in a stupor. They also told the jury that Kellum had sent his girlfriend text messages threatening to kill her. In addition, after his arrest he phoned her from Albany County jail twice to convince her not to appear for a court proceeding.
Orders of protection are issued by courts to stop a person from engaging in violent and threatening behavior toward another individual. They are often issued in domestic violence cases. Violating an order of protection can carry serious consequences as it is considered to be criminal contempt. Offenders may face jail time and enhanced restrictions.