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Former Memphis police sergeant pleads guilty to official misconduct

According to the Shelby County District Attorney's Office, Eric Kelly, 50, pled guilty on Thursday.
Credit: Memphis Police Department

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former sergeant with the Memphis Police Department pled guilty on Thursday to one count of official misconduct, according to the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

Eric Kelly, 50, pled guilty to the count and was placed on judicial diversion for one year. 

Kelly retired from the department at the rank of lieutenant in Nov. 2019, months after supervisors filed charges accusing him of compromising a criminal case. By resigning, Kelly avoided disciplinary action by the department.      

RELATED: Former Memphis police sergeant indicted on misconduct charges

The basis for Kelly's plea was as follows:

"In 2018, while investigating a murder case, Kelly developed and engaged in a sexual relationship with a female co-defendant in the case. Kelly used city funds to take the female out of town on an investigative trip. The conduct violated MPD policy as well as the laws of the State of Tennessee. 

In 2020, in response to this conduct by Kelly, DA Weirich assigned a senior prosecutor to review every cold case Kelly had worked. The prosecutor reviewed 169 cases — ranging from driving offenses to murder — and found nothing questionable or concerning about the strength of the cases or the validity of the convictions."

Kelly was with the Memphis Police Department for 26 years before retiring.