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Two Women Charged With Bailing Out Abusive Man and Killing Him

December 30, 1993

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) _ Margaret Kosmin didn’t wait for her abusive lover to get out of jail and beat her again. Instead, she and a friend bailed him out then shot him to death, police said.

Kosmin had no choice, the couple’s 15-year-old daughter said. Her father abused her mother when he got drunk, she said; he’d been doing it since they were teen-age sweethearts.

″My mom was totally right to do this,″ Michelle Kosmin told the Philadelphia Daily News. ″If my father hadn’t been killed, he would have killed her.″

William Kelly was jailed Dec. 19 on aggravated assault charges for allegedly dragging Kosmin by the hair and beating her with a club at a train station.

On Monday, Kosmin arrived at the Camden jail with her friend, Tammy Ann Molewicz, who posted the $1,000 cash, and the trio drove off in Molewicz’s car, said Camden County Prosecutor Edward F. Borden Jr.

They stopped at a convenience store in Medford. Kelly returned to the car first, then Kosmin walked up to the open car window and shot him twice in the head, Borden said.

″It was a premeditated, planned and carefully executed murder,″ Borden said. ″She wanted to get back at him for his beatings and then see that he didn’t do it again. She had had enough.″

The body was found in a cranberry bog later Monday by hunters. The head was covered with a pillow case; the body was was bound with twine and wrapped in a sheet, Borden said. Authorities also found a .32-caliber revolver, he said.

Kosmin and Molewicz were arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder. They were each held on $200,000 cash bail.

The murder charge is inappropriate, said Sandy Clark, assistant director of the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women. Kosmin may have feared an imminent threat even though Kelly was in jail, she said.

″We have dead battered woman after dead battered woman,″ Clark said. ″Sometimes it doesn’t matter what she does.″

A Naperville, Ill., woman was stabbed to death Sunday by her alcoholic husband. Seven months earlier, she laid out $10,000 to bail him out of jail, where he was awaiting trial on charges of slashing her throat.

But Borden said Kelly did not pose a danger to Kosmin.

″The bail set was adequate to keep him in jail for a period of time and keep him away from her,″ Borden said. ″She was being protected by the system.″

Michelle Kosmin said fear drove her mother to flee from Kelly when she was just an infant.

″We’d move and move, every year practically,″ the couple’s only child recalled.

Then, two months ago, her mother and father attempted to reunite, she said. The violence began almost immediately after Kelly, 31 and unemployed, moved in to their Medford home.

Kelly was arrested Nov. 24 for beating up Kosmin and breaking her nose, police said. Kosmin, 32, immediately got a restraining order.

Kelly returned the night he was released from jail and was arrested again, authorities said. He was released on bail, and on Nov. 30 Kosmin dismissed the domestic violence complaint.

The couple argued again Dec. 19 at the train station. Kelly was arrested and jailed on $10,000 bond or $1,000 cash bail.

When Kosmin returned to her job as a hairdresser after the attack, ″she obviously wasn’t herself,″ said salon owner Marco Bonelli.

No one knew about the abuse, he said.

″Her personal life was her personal life,″ Bonelli said. ″We really didn’t know much about her situation.″

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