Stephen Ross Kelly was going to be starting his trial this past Monday, but he then decided to plead guilty to charges of criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, murder, and criminal domestic violence involving a household member instead.
The 21-year-old had been arrested and charged with rape and murder for the February 2014 death of 18-year-old Briana Rabon, whose body was found in a wooded area of a subdivision in Elgin, South Carolina.
Stephen and Briana had been acquaintances and he was being interviewed about the case when he, according to Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews, â€˜figured out he was getting caught in his liesâ€™ during questioning.
â€œMy investigators interviewed Stephen Kelly, and partway through the interview, he decided he needed to talk to a lawyer,â€ he said.
Stephen had said he was the last person to see her alive, but that he didnâ€™t know where she was after that, according to the affidavit. But evidence was found in his car that tied him to the crime scene.
In his court appearance, he said that he regretted what he did every day.
â€œI think about every day what would have happened if I’d just let her go â€“ let her run,â€ he said, addressing Brianaâ€™s friends and family. â€œI feel like if anything’s right, it’s to let the Rabon family know what happened that night.â€
Her family turned the offer down.
Stephen was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his crimes.