A Riverhead man awaiting sentencing for robbing a Horton Avenue house last year is now facing further charges after he impersonated an alleged murderer to influence another inmate’s case while in the Suffolk County jail last month, according to county officials and court documents.
Tremel Kelly, 21, was arrested on Jan. 7 after he tried to tear up the document he forged, according to sworn statements used as evidence in town court.
Mr. Kelly was called down to the rehabilitation section of the jail off a “notary request sign up sheet” about 7 p.m., court documents state.
Mr. Kelly walked into the room and claimed he was Raesean Allen, another inmate at the jail who is facing second-degree murder charges in a Central Islip shooting last year, corrections officer Steve Potter testified. Mr. Kelly repeated that he was actually Mr. Allen, signed a “sworn statement” allegedly from Mr. Allen and a log book entry as the other inmate, county officials said.
After Mr. Kelly left, the officer checked his database and realized Mr. Kelly was lying after seeing a photograph of the two inmates, he said. Mr. Kelly and a corrections office investigator were called back to the rehabilitation room, about 7:35 p.m.
The investigator told Mr. Kelly to hand over the document with the faked signature, but Mr. Kelly allegedly began to tear up the papers, according to the court documents. The investigator confiscated the torn document and ordered Mr. Kelly to his room, where he was later arrested.
He was arraigned in Southampton Town Court on Jan. 21 and charged with felony tampering with physical evidence and misdemeanor forgery, according to a criminal complaint. He was held without bail, jail officials said.
The document Mr. Kelly signed was a faked statement that would have influenced the case of one of Mr. Allen’s co-defendants, said Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Staff Michael Sharkey.
“It was something [Mr. Kelly] was trying to do for a third-party, a co-defendant of the guy he was attempting to pass himself off as,” Mr. Sharkey said.
Mr. Kelly was originally arrested on April 21 after he kicked down the door to a Horton Avenue residence about 4 a.m., fought with a homeowner and stole a television. Mr. Kelly got into a waiting taxi and fled the scene.
Riverhead police found the taxi driving on Flanders Road and pulled over the vehicle. But while the driver — 29-year-old Howard Ferebee Jr. who pleaded guilty in a bizarre court appearance earlier this month to a minor charge — submitted to arrest, Mr. Kelly ran from the car and lead police on a foot chase to the Budget Host Inn in Riverside.
A police K9 team found Mr. Kelly hiding in a root at the motel, police said at the time.
He pleaded guilty to the burglary and robbery charges he faced in connection with the Horton Avenue incident last year and was facing several years in prison as part of a plea agreement, prosecutors said.
He has yet to be sentenced on those charges, court officials said.
Mr. Kelly had been arrested at least twice before for allegedly stealing a car and leading police on a chase in 2012 and for his alleged role in a cocaine and cash trafficking ring in 2011. Mr. Kelly may be connected with the “Bloods” gang, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.
He is due back in court over the latest forgery and evidence tampering charges on Wednesday, town court officials said.
Caption: Barbaraellen Koch photo | The Suffolk County Jail in Riverside