Shelton bank robber faces up to four years, but could be spared prison

Superior Court in Milford, Conn. on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.

Superior Court in Milford, Conn. on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — A Guilford man faces up to four years behind bars after pleading guilty to robbing a Shelton bank in May 2021.

But if 38-year-old Kevin Kelly completes a drug rehab program successfully, he will get a suspended prison sentence and probation, according to the terms of a plea deal he took in Milford Superior Court Tuesday.

Appearing next to his lawyer, Hugh Keefe, Kelly pleaded guilty before Judge Peter Brown to second-degree robbery in connection to a May 4, 2021 incident at what was then a People’s United Bank branch inside a Stop & Shop at 898 Bridgeport Ave.

Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Stein said a suspect matching Kelly’s description gave the teller a note saying “This is a robbery. I have a gun. All 50s, 100s and 20s in an envelope. No dye packs or GPS.”

The teller handed the suspect about $6,000, Stein said, after which he ran from the store to a “very distinct” orange Hyundai in the parking lot and drove away.

Shelton police put out a broadcast to other departments with a description of the suspect and vehicle, after which police in New Haven advised them they had located the Hyundai, which was being driven by Kelly.

“They indicated to Shelton officers that the defendant appeared to be wearing the same clothes that were used in the robbery,” Stein said.

The prosecutor said police found $3,400 in the vehicle, and another $1,700 in one of Kelly’s socks while booking him on a drug charge.

Kelly has been held in lieu of $250,000 bond since his arrest, but was released Tuesday on a promise to appear in court after his guilty plea so he could be taken to an inpatient drug treatment program.

If he completes the inpatient program successfully and continues to do well for six months in outpatient care, a plea deal calls for an eight-year suspended prison sentence and five years of probation.

But if he leaves the program or does not complete it successfully, he’ll get a 10-year prison term to be suspended after he serves four years, followed by five years of probation.

“No right to argue, that’s agreed, do you understand that, sir?” the judge asked Kelly after he pleaded guilty.

“Yes, your honor,” Kelly replied.