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Trial Begins for Man Accused of Killing Kayla Kelley

Kayla Kelley | Image by NBC 5 DFW
Kayla Kelley | Image by NBC 5 DFW

The trial of a Grand Prairie man accused of kidnapping and killing his girlfriend last year began this week, with testimony starting on Tuesday.

Ocastor Ferguson, 33, has been in the custody of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office since January 14, 2023, when he was charged with murder, arson, and kidnapping and given a bond amounting to over $2 million.

As previously covered by The Dallas Express, Kayla Kelley’s friends had reported her missing on January 11, 2023. Ferguson, the married man she had been seeing since August 2022, was quickly named a person of interest in the case.

Kelley, a 33-year-old from McKinney, had reportedly told her friends that she planned to blackmail Ferguson, whom she had discovered was using a fake name, “Kevin Brown,” to secretly date her.

Investigators found phone conversations between Kelley and Ferguson indicating that Kelley had threatened to tell Ferguson’s wife about their relationship.

Kelley’s burned-out car was found in a remote part of Frisco shortly after her disappearance was reported. Her body was subsequently discovered buried in a field one mile from Ferguson’s home in the 2800 block of Prairie Oak Boulevard.

These facts and more were raised in the Collin County Courthouse, where Judge Angela Tucker heard the prosecution’s opening statement.

“What you’re going to see in the next couple days, you’re going to see this defendant try to get away with murder,” lead prosecutor Kailey Gillman told the jurors, per NBC 5 DFW.

Gillman went on to elaborate on the pieces of evidence linking Ferguson to the burial site, noting how his cell phone data will show jurors “how long it takes to bury a body.”

“The only reason they were ever able to find Kayla Kelley was because this defendant’s movements led them right to her,” Gillman claimed.

Ferguson’s defense attorney, Edwin “Bubba” King, has deferred his opening statement to later in the trial.

Testimony was also heard, with Kelley’s cousin, Irish Anderson, taking the stand. She told jurors about the victim’s challenging past, her relationship with the defendant, and her hopes for the future.

Anderson testified that Kelley so wanted “desperately to be a wife and a mother” that she had begun researching polygamy to be able to share him, per NBC 5 DFW.

While it is unknown whether Ferguson will take the stand in his defense, his wife is expected to testify.

The investigation into Kelley’s death — the official cause of which was asphyxia, per the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office — was conducted by the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, the Allen Police Department, and the Texas Rangers.

In Dallas, there have been 81 murders committed this year as of May 21, according to the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Dallas Police Department currently only has around 3,000 officers in the field. A City report recommends a force of roughly 4,000 to properly ensure public safety. Its budget of $654 million is less than that of law enforcement agencies in other high-crime jurisdictions, such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.

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