Preliminary Exam Postponed for Man Charged in Two-Decade Old Murder Case
A competency exam will be conducted on Kelly Brady while the preliminary exam will now take place on Sept. 21.
On Friday morning, the preliminary exam for Kelly Brady — charged with the 1991 murder of Gracielita Flores in Dearborn — was postponed to Sept. 21 to allow a competency evaluation to be completed on Brady.
Currently a resident of Florida, Brady turned himself into the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies in May, allegedly confessing to a crime now older than 20 years. Dearborn police were informed and Brady was extradited to Michigan for a case that had been all but forgotten. The murderer of Gracelita was never identified and the case was cold until Brady allegedly confessed.
Appearing in court today for just more than 10 minutes, Brady was largely silent, allowing his lawyer, Maria Mannarino, to argue to 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers that Brady’s “history of mental diagnoses” should prevent his original confession from being used as evidence against him.
At one point, Somers asked for additional reasoning and examples that would indicate that Brady should be considered incompetent. Mannarino replied that she was “not comfortable” with the court’s inquiry into her client, to which Somers answered that the court is “comfortable” with inquiring into Brady.
The prosecution did not disagree with conducting a competency evaluation and eventually Somers did allow for it.
In an interview after the hearing, Mannarino said it is integral to the success of the case that all aspects, especially the mental state of her client, are understood.
“This is a very serious case and at this point before proceeding any further I want to make sure that I fully understand what his prior history is and the extent that it is still impacting him now,” she said.
Mannarino said that if he’s deemed not competent, there will be a 15-month period where he will receive treatment to see if he can be made competent.
“Sometimes it’s a matter of adjusting somebody’s medication,” Mannarino said. “The doctors will determine, through some course of action, … that he can be made competent.”
She added that if he isn’t determined to be competent, then he will most likely be civilly committed to a mental institution.
As to the how she thinks this case will play out, Mannarino said it is much to early to even speculate.
“We’re not at the stage we’re all the information has been released even to me yet,” she said. “I don’t know that I have all the information to make that kind of assessment.”
Brady is formally charged with premeditated, first degree murder and two counts of felony murder.
Apart from stating the medications he is currently taking, Brady stood stoically in his bright yellow jumpsuit before being ushered out of the courtroom immediately following the hearing.
As an indication of how old this case is, the prosecution said it is still waiting on medical examiner’s report, but the original medical examiner for the murder is dead.
NOTE: This article was updated at 4 p.m. Friday, June 22, to include comments from attorney Maria Mannarino.