Trenton man gets 15 years for manslaughter
TRENTON — A city man charged with fatally stabbing his wife and dumping her body in a Hamilton cemetery in 2009 was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter.
Clarence Kelsey, 69, looked disheveled and withdrawn when seated in the Mercer County courtroom wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, in handcuffs, with shackles on his legs. He smiled brightly at his defense attorney, Nicole Carlo, and thanked her for all her hard work after the sentence was read.
In September, Kelsey pleaded guilty to stabbing his wife to death.
“By pleading guilty you will serve 15 years in jail, and you must serve at least 85 percent of that time,” said Judge Sumners in September during the accused plea date. “Since you are pleading guilty to a first-degree crime I must impose a five-year term of parole supervision after incarceration.”
Kelsey had reported his wife missing on July 17, 2009. However, police searched his apartment after becoming suspicious that the missing-person description was similar to the description of a badly decomposed corpse discovered at Hamilton’s North Crosswicks Cemetery days earlier.
According to his defense attorney, Kelsey, who lived on South Clinton Avenue at the time, returned home intoxicated and began arguing with his wife, Colleen Kelsey, on June 20, 2009. During the domestic dispute, the 49-year-old woman picked up a knife,a nd during the dispute, Mr. Kelsey grabbed a bigger knife hoping to scare his wife.
“After that there was a scuffle and you ended up plunging the large knife into her chest, you did not check her pulse or call the police; you left on that day and returned a week later,” Carlo recounted during the court appearance in September. The defendant admitted to falling on top of the victim and plunging the knife into her chest, stopping when the tip of the knife hit the floor below her.