CRESTWOOD, Ky (WDRB) -- A woman accused of using a hatchet to kill her boyfriend was sentenced to 25 years for manslaughter.

Gail Kelley pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing 44-year-old Michael Evans in his Pewee Valley home in 2013. Her plea was part of a plea deal.

Kelley was originally charged with murder, but the charge was amended down. As part of the plea deal, she also pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence.

As part of the deal, she was not eligible for shock probation, which the commonwealth opposed.

Evans was found dead in Crestwood in 2013. The murder took place at a home on Margaret Ann Court, south of the intersection of Ash Avenue and Old Floydsburg Road, shortly after 5:30 a.m.

Police say they received a call that a possible homicide had taken place there. According to a news release distributed at the time, the caller told police that 51-year-old Kelley, a Crestwood resident, had killed her live-in boyfriend, 44-year-old Evans, who was also a Crestwood resident.

When police arrived at the home, they were unable to make contact with anyone inside, so they forced entry, according to the news release. Police say they found the body of Evans, who had suffered an apparent head injury.

Police say Kelley told them she struck Evans in the head with a hatchet, killing him. She was taken into custody.

Family members of Gail Kelley say the couple had been together for at least four years before that. Gail Kelley's brother-in-law, Jerry Shepherd, Jr., says it was an abusive relationship.

He said he thought the relationship was coming to an end a week before the murder took place.

"Just last week I went over there to try to move her out of the house. I said, 'Gail, be ready. Have your things on the porch,'" Shepherd said in the days after the murder.

He said she went back to her boyfriend.


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