Caryn Kelley, the woman who killed her boyfriend and lover, Phillip Peatross, during a drunken argument, will see her case profiled on CBS 48 Hours. Caryn Kelley was an attractive blonde real estate agent who was in love with Phillip Peatross, a tall and handsome man with the body of a construction worker. What people remember about him is the love that he had for his daughters, as well as his beautiful smile.
Caryn and Phillip’s romance was filled with a lot of passion and tons of sex, but the couple would often fight while under the influence of alcohol. Caryn Kelley has always maintained that the death of her lover was an accident. A jury agreed and acquitted her of manslaughter. Tonight’s 48 Hours will probe the case with Troy Roberts.
Phillip Peatross died at Caryn Kelley’s home in July, 2011. Court records indicate that the two argued after a night of drinking, and that Caryn Kelley, then 46, shot and killed her boyfriend with her gun.
When officers arrived at the College Park home located on Smith Street at around 4:45 a.m., they found the body of a white male lying dead in a bedroom. The man was identified as 46-year old Phillip Peatross. Caryn Kelley began explaining that she grabbed her gun because she could hear someone entering her home. Believing that it was an intruder, she retrieved the gun from under her bed and waited until she saw a figure appear at the bedroom door. It was then that she realized that it was her boyfriend, Phillip Peatross.
According to Caryn, she warned him that she the gun was cocked and loaded. But instead of leaving her room, Caryn Kelley maintained that Peatross walked toward her — later grabbing her arm and telling her to shoot. A visible fingerprint mark on her arm would indicate that he had grabbed her arm at some point during the exchange.
Kelly also stated that Peatross told her that he was “not going to live his life without her.” It was at that moment that gun went off, killing Phillip Peatross. Part of the exchange with police was videotaped on a cell phone, which showed an intoxicated Caryn Kelley as she tried to explain what happened. In the video, she can be seen crying and behaving erratically. Her story changed several times throughout the investigation, prompting police to arrest her for second-degree murder.
In a police interrogation video, Caryn Kelley cried hysterically as police read her her rights. She insisted that she hadn’t meant to kill “the love of her life.” The second-degree murder charge was eventually reduced to manslaughter. At trial, Dr. Jan Garavaglia, told the courts that the victim’s injuries suggested that he was shot in the face on the right side. Jurors viewed graphic images of the hole in the victim’s face. Garavaglia told the courts that Peatross’ death was a homicide, and not a suicide.
Despite Dr. Garavaglia’s testimony, Caryn Kelley was acquitted of manslaughter. Kelley had many supporters who believed her story — feeling that the lack of heavy media coverage was the reason that she was able to get a fair trial. Some believed that the videotaped interrogation showed a woman who was genuinely distraught over something that had gone terribly wrong. But after Caryn left the courtroom she told reporters that she planned to sleep well and take a trip to Disney.
Should Caryn Kelley have been convicted of manslaughter? Or did Phillip Peatross act aggressively that night, causing his own death? Sound off after the episode “Wounded By Love” tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
CBS 48 Hours “Wounded By Love” trailer:
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