Logan Kelley, 27, admitted to murdering Isis Atalia Montoya Romero at the Adelita nightclub in February 2021, when he mistook the 19-year-old mother who worked there for someone else. CCTV footage from several angles shows Kelley walking up behind Montoya Romero with a 4-inch clip-blade military style knife and slitting her throat before running away. She had been previously seen walking with a client at the club.
Kelley apparently did not know his victim, according to local media reports, but instead had intended to hurt another woman he met at the club, which is described as a “traditional mens club” that features dancing and prostitution.
Security personnel were able to stop Kelley and first identified him as a member of the military due to the type of weapon he used. He never served. He only played three games for Rutgers University before being dismissed from the team for unknown reasons.
Kelley’s light sentence was part of a plea deal that includes a payment of about $40,000 to the victim’s family, including her 4-year-old son. Charges of femicide against the basketball player that would have carried a minimum sentence of 40 years were dropped as part of the deal.
The victim’s father was angry at the sentence. “The judge, the prosecutor, even my daughter’s attorney all acted in favor of (Kelley) and not for her. I am very frustrated by all the corruption and the deception,” José Montoya told New Jersey Advanced Media. “There is video of what this assassin did to my daughter. He practically decapitated her! It seems like the judge didn’t even see the video.”