Ellis Library, Stephens College arsonist to defend himself at sentencing

Aug 5, 2013

Ellis Library on the MU campus.
Credit Chris Yunker / Flickr

A federal judge says he will allow a man convicted of setting fires in the University of Missouri's Ellis Library and in a Stephens College building to represent himself during sentencing and a possible appeal.

Christopher Kelley says his appointed federal defense attorney was ineffective, but since he says he can't afford a different attorney, he'll have to defend himself. He has been in jail since being convicted in April for setting fires at Stephens College in May 2011 and in MU's Ellis Library that September.

The Columbia Daily TribuneĀ reports Kelley continues to maintain his innocence despite being seen on surveillance video inside the library on the night it sustained about $1 million in fire damage.