JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Just days after the two year anniversary of 16-year old Cliff Allyn's death, his cousin has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Dexter Mendoza Kelley, 21, admitted to killing his younger family member in a Jackson County courtroom Thursday. He was sentenced to serve 40 years day-for-day, which is the maximum penalty for that crime.
At the time of his arrest, authorities said Kelley had just moved to the coast from Meridian.
"This 40-year, day-for-day sentence puts this defendant in jail until he is 60 years old," said District Attorney Tony Lawrence in a written statement. "He will essentially spend the rest of his life in prison for taking his cousin's life. He killed Cliff for no reason and then hid it from his family and law enforcement. I hope that this sentence will deter the rise in violence committed by our youth and that they will know that committing senseless acts of violence will not be tolerated."
"A family was torn apart because of the actions of this defendant. Sixteen-year-old Cliff Allyn was taken too soon from his family, and now Mr. Kelley will spend forty years in prison because of his unconscionable act.," said assistant district attorney Cherie Wade in a news release.
Kelley was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, all court costs, and $250 to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund.