Kelly Daws found guilty of conspiracy in knife attack on ex
Update: Kelly Daws has been found guilty of conspiracy of criminal activity involving a 2016 knife attack on her ex husband.
Live updates from the courtroom:
Day Two Recap: A man who stabbed an off-duty Port Arthur cop in 2016 said he was offered $12,000 for the crime by the officer’s estranged wife.
Joal Riley returned to the stand Wednesday as trial resumed for Kelly Daws, a Beaumont physician’s assistant charged with conspiracy and solicitation in the attack on her ex-husband.
Kelly Daws and Riley were romantically involved before her divorce from former Port Arthur police officer Jerry Daws. Riley was sentenced in 2018 to seven years in prison for the aggravated assault.
But the intent, he explained in court, was murder.
“I intended to kill him,” Riley said.
> > RELATED: Recap Day 1 of trial coverage
During his testimony Tuesday, the Woodville man said Kelly Daws paid him $3,000 about three months before the Dec. 22, 2016, stabbing. The remainder, he said, was to be paid after Jerry Daws was killed.
But he never requested the final $9,000, he told jurors, because “Jerry Daws is still alive.”
Riley, one of the prosecutor’s witnesses to take the stand Wednesday, gave details about the night he attacked Jerry Daws and the events leading up to the crime.
He began seeing Kelly Daws, 47, in July 2016, he said. And while their relationship ended in November, they continued to see each other and spoke every day — except the day of the attack, according to the testimony of Eli Van Horn, a retired Port Arthur Police Department detective responsible for the “download” of Riley’s and Kelly Daws’ phones in December 2016.
In testimony Tuesday, Jerry Daws said Riley attacked him at the door of his apartment and pushed him back into his bedroom. He suffered several cuts to his hands and one below his shoulder but was able to escape and get help from a neighbor. One of the first responders on scene said his wounds required about 30 stitches.
The plot began in September, Riley said on the stand. Kelly Daws gave him photos of Jerry Daws to use as a reference and the address to his apartment. He used a hunting knife that he already had in his possession. According to his testimony, it’s something he wouldn’t have done had she not urged him to.
“I never volunteered to do it. I was never like, ‘Oh, oh me, I want to do it,’” Riley said in his testimony.
But she painted a different picture of their relationship while on the stand Wednesday afternoon.
Riley was unaccepting of their breakup, she said, and became forceful with his texting and calling if she didn’t continue to see him. She preferred to meet him in public, she said, and would sometimes use work as an excuse to leave.
She spoke to Riley about stressors in the divorce: the dogs, scheduling conflicts, who got the house.
“When you’re upset, you say things you don’t mean,” Kelly Daws said on the stand, calling the divorce process friendly “for the most part.”
But she never offered Riley money to kill her husband, she said.
Two witnesses on behalf of the defense, both acquaintances of Kelly Daws, spoke of a woman who appeared “scared” of Riley, one saying he seemed “very possessive.”
Trial is scheduled to continue today at 9 a.m.