New Kensington man who served 12 years for murder indicted on federal drug charge
A New Kensington man who served 12 years for the murder of a Duquesne student now is facing a federal drug charge.
A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh this week indicted Thomas Vaugh Kelly Jr., 33, accusing him of selling fentanyl. The indictment was handed down Tuesday.
Kelly was released from prison about a year ago.
On Jan. 10, 2004, Carma Reed, 19, of Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood, was a second-year student at Duquesne University who was studying business marketing and carrying a 3.7 grade-point average.
She was shot in the head while she was a passenger in car that was stopped at a stop sign on Belleau Street. Kelly allegedly drove up beside the car and opened fire because he thought someone in the car had shot at him several days earlier.
Kelly went to trial in 2006, and he accepted a plea deal offered after two key witnesses refused to cooperate with the prosecution. He received a 12- to 25-year prison sentence. The state Department of Corrections said he served 12 years and was paroled on April 27, 2018.
Federal prosecutors now allege he sold at least 10 grams of fentanyl in Pittsburgh. The charges were filed by Pittsburgh police in March, and a federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigation followed, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Pittsburgh police didn’t return calls for details about the state court case.
Kelly’s attorney for the Pittsburgh case, Kenneth Jay Haber, said he wasn’t told about the federal charge.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .