Marc Despain, Carl Kelley: ‘Dateline NBC’ Delves Into Case Of A Father-In-Law Who Hired Hitman To Kill Daughter’s Hubby


The Marc Despain fatal shooting case will be delved into on the next episode of Dateline NBC. Last night, Dateline NBC Thursday discussed the case of cross-dressing Colonel Russell Williams. Tonight’s episode entitled “The Root Of All Evil” first aired in 2014. Marc Despain was a 34-year-old real estate appraiser who was found dead on the kitchen floor of his home in Arkansas four years ago. What started out as a potential robbery case quickly turned to a homicide investigation after certain clues were traced back to Marc Despain’s wife, Michelle, and her father, 59-year-old Carl Kelley. Michelle Despain was eventually found guilty of hindering prosecutorial apprehension and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Her father, Carl Dwayne Kelly, and hitman Terrence Baker, aka Qualow, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder, according to CBS 46.

Police investigators were summoned to the Despain’s residence in June, 2011, after receiving a 911 call from Michelle stating that her husband was dead inside the house. When police arrived at the residence located at 4320 Jenni Lane in the Layman Crest subdivision in Jonesboro, they found the body of a white man with gunshot wounds to the side of his body and to the face. Authorities say Marc Despain owned a real estate appraisal service and lived in the upscale neighborhood with his wife and their children.

As law-enforcement officials moved through the confusing scene, they found certain items strewn about the home, as well as a cup of partially melted ice cream and a cold beverage that had been placed on the kitchen table. Detectives say it appeared that the victim had walked into his home before he was ambushed by someone waiting inside.

The murder scene was made to look like a robbery, but police investigators quickly dispelled that theory. Neighbors told police that they saw a shady looking black man in the area just before the murder. Marc Despain‘s father, Jack, was one of the first people they suspected, since it came to light that the father and son had a troubled relationship brought on by false accusations of child molestation and money and property disputes, but he was quickly ruled out.

The case broke wide open after someone came forward, stating that a man named Terrance Barker, known on the streets as Qualow, had boasted about the killing. Once police spoke with the man, he eventually confessed to killing Marc Despain, but also implicated the man’s father-in-law, Carl Kelley, and the man’s wife, Michelle.

From left: Terrance 'Qualow' Barker, Carl Kelley, and Johnny Hubbard as they appear in 2015.

It took the cops months to get back the forensic computer evidence, but what they found was explosive. It appears that Michelle Despain and her father, Carl, texted back and forth in the hours leading up to the murder. Prosecutors believe that Michelle lured her husband out of the home to give the killer time to enter, and then waited for them to kill him once he stepped foot inside his home. A deep look into Michelle’s background revealed that she had a side lover that she was helping financially. Investigators deduced that Michelle and her father orchestrated the murder, so that she could benefit from the insurance money.

Today, Carl Kelley and Terrance Barker are serving out their 35-year sentences for first-degree murder. Johnny W. Hubbard was sentenced to time in prison for drug possession and hindering prosecutorial apprehension.


Watch Dateline NBC’s mini mystery tonight to see how these hardcore detectives solved the crime.

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