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Man accused of assaulting deputies was wrongly ID’d as his twin

POSTED: November 16, 2013 12:00 a.m.

A man charged after Hall County deputies said he assaulted them in a Sept. 26 incident was misidentified as his twin brother by the Sheriff’s Office.

Kelly Martinez Nicely, 38, of Gainesville was naked and acting irrationally in the Bill’s Circle area of North Hall when deputies were called to intervene.

The Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Nicely’s twin brother, Keary Maurice Nicely, 38, of Gainesville. 

Lt. Stephen Wilbanks, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said there was confusion because of multiple aliases the office had on record for both Keary and Kelly Nicely. He said there were discrepancies between information from the scene and what was on record.

Fingerprint data eventually led the Sheriff’s Office to identify the correct twin, but Wilbanks did not have information on exactly how Kelly Nicely was booked and fingerprinted without the Sheriff’s Office correctly identifying him. 

A woman called media outlets at the time claiming the man was not Keary but instead Kelly. 

“When I called down to the jail and raised that question, the personnel had checked it and confirmed we had the right person,” Wilbanks said. “... The bottom line is that the arrestee was erroneously identified due to a number of confusing circumstances and inaccuracies in (the Comprehensive Justice Information System), and corrective steps are being taken to rectify the situation.”

Kelly Nicely remains in jail without bond, charged with felony obstruction of officers, misdemeanor obstruction of officers, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and providing false information to officers.

Wilbanks said Kelly Nicely quickly became aggressive that day, forcing deputies to defend themselves with pepper spray, a Taser and batons, “none of which had any effect on the subject,” according to a news release sent at the time.

Wilbanks said the man punched the deputies in the face and head. He said synthetic marijuana likely played a role in his resistance to the deputies’ efforts.

Following the initial assault, Wilbanks said the man swam into Lake Lanier, where he held onto a nearby dock and refused to come out of the water.

“Once he was out in the water, he was still aggressive, shouting, screaming, talking irrationally, threatening deputies,” Wilbanks said at the time.

At that point, as the man was swimming back and forth between shallow water and water 15 or 20 feet deep, authorities were worried the incident could kill someone.

“The depth of the water dropped off fairly sharply so we didn’t want to run the risk of someone being drowned out there, either deputies or the suspect,” Wilbanks said.

More deputies and boats from the Hall County Fire Services and Georgia Department of Natural Resources arrived, but the man still refused to leave the water. Members of the SWAT team then arrived, eventually shooting beanbag rounds, 40 mm foam impact rounds, as well as grenades that deploy rubber pellets.

Wilbanks said Kelly Nicely would come partly out of the water “taunting the deputies” and rounds were shot at his torso.

Some 45 minutes from the time authorities first arrived on scene the man was arrested, according to the news release.

Two deputies were treated at Northeast Georgia Medical Center for minor injuries Wilbanks described as contusions, abrasions and a split lip.

Kelly Nicely also was taken to the medical center, though the Sheriff’s Office reported he had no major injuries. He was released and then booked that day into the Hall County Jail.


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