Suspect claims jealousy played a role in an Ottawa County murder

Mug shots of Jimmy Kelly & Charlana Kelly
©KOAM News

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. – A suspect claims jealousy played a role in the murder of an Ottawa County, Oklahoma woman.

KOAM obtained a court document in the shooting death of Toni Moran, aka Toni Torres. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tulsa filed charges against a husband and wife in the case. Jimmy Kelly faces federal charges of Murder in Indian Country and Using a Firearm to Commit a Violent Act. Charlana Kelly is facing a charge of Accessory to a Felony.

The homicide took place within tribal land. Jimmy Kelly is a registered citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Body Found in Ottawa County

On November 1, 2021, a worker in the area of South 560 and East 30 road in Ottawa County found a woman’s body. According to court documents, the body was next to a pond west of 560 Road, down a gravel drive.

The Sheriff’s Office responded, and with permission from the Quapaw Tribal Marshals, entered the scene. They saw apparent injuries and worked to find her identity.

Later that day, the Sheriff’s Office took a report of a missing person, Toni Moran. They found booking photos of Moran and matched her tattoos with those of the deceased female.

Authorities determined Moran was shot twice. Once in the head and once in the torso.

Her brother, who reported her missing, hadn’t seen her since about 9:30 pm on October 31, 2021. She had been living with him since moving out of her apartment.

The Investigation

Investigators learned Moran was in contact with Jimmy Kelly on the night of October 31, 2021. So, authorities went to Jimmy Kelly’s home for an interview. He confirmed that he was supposed to meet up with Moran, but he fell asleep. He claims he called her around 11:00 pm saying it was too late and he would call her in the morning.

Later that day, investigators also spoke with Charlana Kelly, Jimmy’s wife. She says she only left the home that night to pick up her grandson and get dinner. Outside that hour, she claimed to be home all night on the 31st.

According to court documents, authorities learned of other incidents between a group of people involving Moran. They also learned of a gun that changed hands. You can read more here.

A witness told investigators about a conversation they had with Jimmy about Jimmy having killed someone. The witness also recorded a conversation with Jimmy about a gun. In that recorded conversation, Jimmy stated he had killed the victim by shooting the victim in the head and concealed the body near a body of water. Court documents state Jimmy also said that his wife, Charlana, shot the victim as well.

Authorities took Jimmy into custody.

Jimmy Kelly’s Interrogation

Investigators read Jimmy his Miranda rights. They say he refused to sign the provided form, but agreed to speak with law enforcement.

Jimmy claimed he was in a relationship with Moran, which caused his wife to be jealous. Jimmy arranged for a confrontation to take place between Charlana and Moran. The Kelly’s met up with Moran. When they all three got there, Jimmy alleges the two ladies started arguing. During that, he claims Moran stated she was better off dead.

Jimmy says he then drew a revolver he had, cocked the hammer and handed it to Moran. He claims Moran then held the revolver to her head and shot herself. Jimmy told investigators that he was so upset that she had shot herself, that he then picked up the gun and fired a second shot into her torso.

Charlana, during a second interview, denied being at the crime scene and denied driving her car to the crime scene.

The Quapaw Nation Marshal’s Office requested help in the investigation. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and an FBI special agent are involved in the investigation.

Tips

If you have any information that can help with the investigation, contact the OSBI at 800-522-8017 or tips@osbi.ok.gov.

Previous Articles

Tori Moran aka Toni Torres History

In 2003, Moran/Torres was arrested for the 2003 drowning death of her 17-month-old son. A judge found that Torres was “insane” and ordered her to the care of a mental hospital. She was released in 2011.

Criminal Complaint in US vs Jimmy Gene Kelly, Jr. 2021