NORTH YARMOUTH – Guilty as charged. A jury has found a local lobsterman guilty of murder. Jurors agreed that Merrill Kimball shot and killed Leon Kelley. And it was not in self defense. Kimball’s defense attorney says he’s shocked by this verdict. The victim’s family however says this ended the way it should have.
Merrill Kimball hugs his wife goodbye, before being handcuffed and taken into custody.
Jurors find him guilty of murder, intentionally or knowingly killing 63-year-old Leon Kelley. Kimball shot Kelley three times at Brown’s Bee Farm in North Yarmouth after the two men got into an argument.
Kimball’s wife managed the farm, And Kelley’s father in law owns the farm. Throughout the trial, Kimball’s attorney claimed the much larger Kelley attacked Kimball. He says Kimball shot Kelley in self defense.
Daniel Lilley, Kimball’s Attorney, “It just seemed to me that the relative sizes and power of these two people made it pretty clear that my client was in a jam that he couldn’t get out of except to use a firearm”
Prosecutors called Kimball the aggressor, Saying he shot Kelley out of anger, Not fear.
John Alsop, Assistant Attorney General, “Obviously there was no threat of death presented to the defendant in the case whatsoever”
Jurors considered murder, a lesser charge of manslaughter, And self defense. After about seven hours of deliberation. They returned with guilty of murder.
Bill Kelley, Leon Kelley’s, “Brother I was ready for anything, but it was in god’s hands and it came out the way it’s supposed to.”