The family of a convicted killer who drowned last week in the New River says he turned his life around.
On Tuesday, WDBJ7 met Chasity Marshall in her Pulaski home. Last week Kelly Marshall, her husband of nearly seven years, drowned while fishing at Radford's Bissett Park. Chasity said she remembered the moment.
"At 12:45 is when [Kelly] left and he came in and gave me a kiss and he said, 'I love you and I'm going to go get me some fish.' And I told him I loved him and be careful and then he was gone," Chasity Marshall said.
Twenty-one years earlier, Kelly was convicted of shooting and killing his pregnant girlfriend, Tabitha Jo Young Bell. He served 11 years in prison and was released early for good time served.
Some folks will say, “Who cares about a convicted killer who drowned?” Others believe Marshall paid his dues, went on to live a better life, and THAT story deserves to be told.
Chasity said she understands the criticism, but swears her husband changed in prison and even came to know faith. She said he even ministered while he was in prison.
Chasity’s family said after prison he worked odd jobs to support his new family. He eventually got hired at Volvo and was never in any trouble again.
Chasity said he never forgot the murder.
"I would want [critics] to understand that he was very remorseful for it and he felt for them. He owned up to what he done."
Chasity hopes her husband's death will bring some closure for the Bell family. The new widow said she still hasn't told her seven-year-old daughter about her father's past.
"[Kelly] made a difference in her life. He read the Bible to her. There are stories that she's going to have in her heart for many years to come that was their time. And she has the right to remember her daddy for who he was," Chasity said.
She says her husband's story is about redemption, grace and forgiveness.