Rock Hill man charged in fatal hit-and-run in uptown Charlotte

A Charlotte lawyer representing the defendant cautioned against a rush to judgment.

A 34-year-old man was charged Monday in a hit-and-run incident in uptown Charlotte that left a woman dead at the corner of Trade and Tryon streets.

Fran Kelly, 36, died April 11 after she was struck by a SUV, according to a police account. The driver of the vehicle, described as a burgundy and tan Ford Expedition, did not stop or report the collision.

Four days later, detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department located an SUV matching that description in College Park, Ga. The vehicle was seized and brought to Charlotte for forensic testing.

Based on evidence taken from the vehicle, the police said, detectives identified Cornell Jermain Watts as a suspect, and warrants for felony hit & run and reckless driving were issued.

On Monday, accompanied by his attorney, Watts turned himself in at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

According to information on the sheriff’s website, Watts lives in Rock Hill. Bond was set at $10,000.

Kenneth D. Snow, one of two lawyers representing Watts, released a statement saying the charges against his client are allegations.


“…It is critical that we focus on the facts and allow the case to develop with proper examination of all evidence,” said Snow, managing partner of The Snow Legal Group in Charlotte.

Glenn Burkins
Glenn is founder and publisher of He's worked at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and Charlotte Observer.

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