A state police trooper from the Loganville barracks has been cleared of domestic-violence allegations against him.
A jury on Friday acquitted Trooper Patrick Kelly, 44, of Dover Township, of simple assault and harassment, according to court records.
Kelly had been accused of physically assaulting then-girlfriend Lisa Stroule just before 2 a.m. Nov. 4, 2012, on South Main Street in Dover.
"The testimony was clear that my client never threatened this young lady, never harmed her," defense attorney Chris Ferro said after the verdict.
At trial, Stroule testified she repeatedly struck Kelly as the two of them were in a vehicle driving home, and that "he did nothing but defend himself," the attorney said.
Kelly still has a pending DUI charge that was filed as part of the same incident.
What's next: Since Kelly was acquitted of his other offenses, presiding Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner agreed to defer ruling on the DUI so Kelly can apply for the county's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, Ferro said.
ARD gives first-time nonviolent offenders the chance to avoid conviction by instead completing court-ordered requirements. Defendants don't have to admit guilt, and those who successfully complete ARD can have their records expunged.
Kelly remains on unpaid suspension from his job, the attorney confirmed. He has been a trooper since 1998, according to a state police spokesman.
Assuming Kelly is accepted into ARD, and "in light of the jury's complete vindication of my client," Ferro said he hopes Kelly "will be back in uniform shortly and will continue on with his career."
The allegations: Northern York County Regional Police said Kelly and Stroule, had been drinking in Harrisburg and were on their way home when they began arguing and she punched him.
Charging documents alleged Stroule told officers Kelly "beat her head" several times and threatened to kill her, then stopped and told her to get out of his car. Kelly had driven away before officers arrived, but was pulled over a short time later.
He admitted having "a few drinks" and "stated that he got the gun out because Stroule was hitting him and he did not want her to get it," according to documents.
Alcohol level: His blood-alcohol level was later determined to be 0.2 percent, more than double the legal limit, police allege.
Ferro said Kelly did pull over and tell Stroule to get out of the car.
"He decided he was not going to continue having her hit him while he was driving," the attorney said. "And testimony showed the only reason he had the gun in his hand was to make sure she didn't get it. He never pointed it at her. She was never threatened with it."
Ferro said Kelly and Stroule no longer live together, but "there's still a friendship that exists between the two of them."
Case undermined: Senior deputy prosecutor Jared Mellott acknowledged Stroule's testimony undermined the prosecution's case.
"It's not unheard of in domestic-violence cases, unfortunately, for victims to go south on us," he said.
Mellott said two independent eyewitnesses — a husband and wife — saw part of the incident. The husband testified he saw Stroule on the ground and saw Kelly grab a gun and walk toward her, according to Mellott, while the wife testified she saw Kelly kick Stroule while she was on the ground.
Kelly testified he nudged Stroule with his foot, Mellott said.
The prosecutor said he had hoped the eyewitness testimony might be enough to convince jurors.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.