Public documents reveal MPD detective had sexual contact with murder suspect

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Public documents reveal a Memphis Police Department Homicide Detective had sexual contact with a murder suspect last fall – and then retired.

According to public records, Eric Kelly took a murder defendant on a work-related trip out of state in a city issued vehicle.

He’s been disciplined for more than a dozen other things throughout his tenure at MPD, but before he could be disciplined for this, documents show he retired.

FOX13 Investigative Reporter Leah Jordan requested the personnel file for Eric Kelly, a former homicide detective for the Memphis Police Department.

According to public records, in March 2018, Kelly was issued a statement of charges when he admitted to having a sexual relationship with a murder defendant.

Documents revealed the department accused Kelly of compromising criminal cases, accessing reports and records with no legitimate purpose, and consorting with persons of bad or criminal reputation.

Those are just a few of the charges listed in connection with this incident.

Documents revealed Kelly admitted to allowing the defendant pose for pictures with his personal guns inside his apartment. In a transcribed interview, Kelly admitted to a sexual relationship with her, and admitted he took her to an out-of-town hotel that the City of Memphis paid for.

But, before Kelly could be disciplined for this, he offered a two line memo to the Department: one that served as his intent to retire in late 2019. The last two sentences read, “it’s been a blast. Thank you.”

FOX13 reached out to MPD to ask if Kelly will face legal charges, or if he’ll get out of any potential discipline due to that abrupt retirement.

Regardless of that outcome, FOX13 found Kelly isn’t new to being disciplined.

FOX13 found 16 separate statements of charges, with incidents ranging from hitting a pole in a police car, or refusing to document a report, all the way to allegedly throwing a complainant on the ground, repeatedly hitting a juvenile who wasn’t fighting back, and even threatening to kill someone on the job.

Job reviews FOX13 obtained in his file gave him good marks and said he was a good investigator. We called three different possible numbers for Kelly to attempt to get his side of the story.

FOX13 Investigates asked an MPD spokesperson how many disciplinary actions an officer can face before they’re fired.

That question has not yet been answered.

We also asked if Kelly had a sexual relationship with this murder suspect back in mid-2018, why was documentation of the incident just received to MPD’s HR department in December 2019?

There appears to be a lapse in time. We’re working to learn who that discrepancy falls on and will update this article as soon as we receive answers to these questions.