Murderer of Prosecutor Denied Earlier Release Date

Today Bonnie Kelly, 64, the woman who murdered Assistant State Attorney Eugene “Gene” Berry in 1982, was denied an earlier prison release date. Kelly is serving a life sentence for the murder. The current release date is April 28, 2056.

Assistant State Attorney Dan Feinberg of our Homicide Unit, along with Mr. Berry’s widow and son spoke to the Florida Commission on Offender Review (formerly known as the parole board) today in Tallahassee. After hearing from them, they declined to move up her release date. The next review date for this case is in five years.

“This is for him. It’s not bringing him back. But it’s something he would have wanted,” said Ms. Berry. She also expressed her appreciation for ASA Feinberg and the work of this office.

ASA Berry was shot and killed at his Charlotte County home after answering his door on January 16, 1982 by Kelly who was the wife of a man Berry prosecuted. Her husband had recently been sent to prison on drug charges. Berry was the first active prosecutor murdered in the 20th Judicial Circuit. He was 46 years old when he was killed.

At the time of his death, he was the Assistant State Attorney o overseeing the Charlotte County Office of the State Attorney. He had been with our office for just over five years when he was murdered.

Mr. Berry received the State Attorney’s Office Medal of Honor posthumously. The Eugene Berry Award was then created in his honor. The award is given annually to Florida’s “prosecutor of the year.”

Following Mr. Berry’s murder, in 1988, another prosecutor in the 20th Judicial Circuit was shot to death and a third seriously wounded.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office