Lawsuit filed as woman who was beaten by father fights for her life


The guardian for a woman who is now in hospice after being beaten by her father with a baseball bat, has filed a lawsuit that seeks to secure funds for the woman’s long-term medical care.

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Robert Brian Kelly, a 52-year-old psychologist from Oxford, is charged with assault with intent to murder for the May 9 attack of his daughter, Megan Roberts. He has a court hearing later this week.

Roberts, a 20-year-old Oakland Community College student, suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her in a coma and requiring mechanical ventilation and tube feeding.

Police said Kelly walked into the police station in Oxford the morning of May 9 to report that his daughter had been assaulted. Around the same time, the woman’s mother called 911 after finding her injured daughter in a bedroom.

Oxford Police Chief Michael Neymanowski said when Kelly was asked who did it, he replied, “I did.”

Roberts’ aunt and guardian, Sandra Bucklin, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Roberts against Kelly in Oakland County Circuit Court that seeks a monetary judgment and asks a judge to stop Kelly from accessing his assets.

The lawsuit said while Roberts was sleeping, Kelly beat in her face and head with an aluminum baseball bat until she was no longer recognizable.

“It’s a horribly tragic situation for a young woman to meet this fate, especially from a family member,” said Steve Weiss, Bucklin’s attorney. “It’s very mind-boggling and sad.”

A long-term care plan to provide for Roberts’ future medical needs is expected to cost more than $500,000 a year.

“Without an injunctive order preserving defendant’s assets ... Megan will be immediately and irreparably harmed, as she will require the use of the defendant’s assets to help pay for her present and future medical treatment, care and rehabilitation,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit, which has been assigned to Oakland Circuit Judge Colleen O’Brien, alleges battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

According to the lawsuit, Kelly attempted suicide twice in the 30 days before the attack. It also said Kelly had been prescribed or taken medication to help control a “possible mental or emotional condition.”

Kelly’s previous attorney in the criminal case, James Galen, Jr., told The Oakland Press at a court hearing in May that Kelly said he blacked out.

“He has no recollection until he came to, with an aluminum baseball bat in his hand, and saw his daughter bludgeoned,” Galen said.

During Kelly’s last court appearance, a judge granted Galen’s request to have Kelly examined at the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry to determine whether he’s competent to stand trial and criminally responsible for his actions. Kelly remains in custody with a $2 million bond.

A subsequent court hearing is scheduled for Friday, July 29 in 52-3 District Court.

Galen said Kelly has two master’s degrees, one from the University of Michigan and one from Wayne State University. He worked for many years as a licensed psychologist in private practice.

Galen said Kelly inherited $1.4 million from relatives within the past few years but currently “has no assets whatsoever at this time.” He declined to elaborate.

Galen said he willingly left the case after one of Kelly’s relatives retained another defense attorney, Sanford Schulman, and because the case was gruesome and he didn’t want any further part of it.

Schulman could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

A website set up for Roberts, www.megansteam.com, seeks donations to help pay for her medical care.

The site describes Roberts as a caring person who loves being outdoors, golfing, the Detroit Red Wings, playing roulette at the casino and walking her dogs. There are pictures of her smiling sweetly as she holds babies in her arms.

Several people have left hopeful well-wishes on a Facebook page called, “Prayers for Megan.”

Renee Jasgur, one of Bucklin’s good friends, said a lot of people have shown compassion for Roberts and are trying to help in anyway they can.

“It’s just been overwhelming how much people really do care,” Jasgur said. “It’s just a great community, and great friends and family.”
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