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Posted on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 10:47 a.m.

Teen who stabbed girl on Ypsilanti High School property sentenced to prison

By Heidi Fenton

As Cortae Diaz Kelly stood before Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Archie Brown for his sentencing Friday, the man who prosecutors say showed no remorse for stabbing a woman on school grounds offered an apology.

“I ask that you see me not as a killer or a criminal, but as a young man who made a mistake that will affect the rest of my life,” he said. “I take full responsibility for my crime and actions.”


Cortae Kelly

But Brown said Kelly’s actions were no mistake.

With Kelly’s family and the family of his victim, Joy Jordan, filling a courtroom Friday morning, Brown sentenced Kelly to 18 to 60 years in prison for stabbing Jordan at least 20 times Feb. 1 on Ypsilanti High School property. He will serve 2 to 5 years concurrently for a weapons charge.

Prosecutors say Kelly had an intimate relationship with Jordan, and after she told him she might be pregnant, he lured her to a dirt trail in a wooded area east of the school about a half hour after classes let out. There, he pulled a knife and stabbed her at least 20 times, making statements about the pregnancy during the attacks.

A person walking on the trail found Jordan, then 17, and called 911. She later explained she had faked her death in an attempt to avoid further harm.

Jordan was taken to the hospital in critical condition with stab wounds to her head, back and hands and continues to recover from her injuries.

Kelly pleaded guilty in June to assault with intent to murder and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent as part of a plea deal in his case. Prosecutors in exchange waived second counts of both felony charges.

“Stabbing someone 20 to 30 times is no mistake, it’s an intentional action,” Brown said Friday in response to Kelly’s apology. “This crime demands punishment; this crime demands a message sent to the community that we’re not going to tolerate this.”

Kelly’s family huddled together and shed tears as his sentence was read. Across the aisle, Jordan’s family gathered in much the same way.

Joy Jordan, present as Kelly was led back into police custody, said she underwent two surgeries after the attack. She has lost feeling in her right hand and continues to struggle with headaches and vision problems.

She was harassed by other students after the attack and has since moved to a different school in an attempt to start over.

“I was being called a snitch for telling what happened to me,” she said, explaining how other students would call out “Free Cortae” as she walked by. “It’s done. It’s just time to recover and get on with the rest of my life.”

Testing eventually showed Jordan, now 18, was not pregnant as she had first wondered. But that February day, Jordan said, she made it clear nothing was certain.

“I didn’t tell him I was pregnant, I said there was a possibility I was,” she said. “I told him to wait a couple days before we could find out something.”

Kelly’s mother declined comment as she left Friday with family, but a cousin said Kelly had looked forward to his future. Kelly was not known for violence, Dionte Sims said.

“Mentally, he’s not that type of person,” Sims, 21, said. “He was trying to go to college, trying to do things, he had hopes for himself.”

Heidi Fenton covers police and courts for Reach her at or 734-623-4673. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

@Ricebrnr at 3:33 PM on August 19, 2011 "Yes, lots of aspirations ONLY FOR HIMSELF ..." but to kill the respiration of someone else. hurrumph!

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Wed, Aug 24, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

[reposted due to censorship error earlier] at 5:40 PM on August 19, 2011 yeh .. good riddance .. and with 'ffriends' llike this: "I was being called a snitch for telling what happened to me," she said, ... she will be hanging out with a better crowd now. 'snitch' like h3ll! COURAGEOUS is much mor elike it! good for her!


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

Channel 4 has a quote from the defense attorney (David Goldstein) that is particularly vile. He argued for a minimized sentence due to the fact that the girl was unmarried and having sex and that meant she wasn't an &quot;innocent victim&quot;. Quote below: Kelly's attorney, David Goldstein, gave his reason for why the judge should minimize his client's sentence. "An innocent victim is a girl that is walking down the street, is grabbed by a stranger, dragged into the bushes and stabbed 30-odd something times. That's an innocent victim," Goldstein said. "She was engaged, at her age, in sex with someone to whom she wasn't married." <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Also, I think it's outrageous that people are calling her a snitch. She just has to remember that those people are not her friends. Those types of people don't have friends. And those people need to figure out why they would prefer to be friends with a violent stabber rather than a victim. It's like Kramer on Seinfeld when he told Jerry he would turn him in if he shot someone. Jerry's argument was, well what kind of friend are you? Kramer's come back was what kind of person are you?! Going around shooting someone. I'd rather be friends with the victim than the perpetrator.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

He is a punk and deserves exactly what he got, I hope they keep him for many, many years!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

"Stabbing someone 20 to 30 times is no mistake, it's an intentional action," Brown said Friday in response to Kelly's apology. "This crime demands punishment; this crime demands a message sent to the community that we're not going to tolerate this." Judge Archie Brown... So tell us Archie... err... Your honor... ek hemmm... Will you be around in 2029... No wait time served/good time 2029... 2021??? Way not to tolerate it Judge Brown... HE STABBED A GIRL AT LEAST 20 TIMES and your sentence will most likely have him out with less than 6 months per stabbing? Also: Note to cousin Dionte who quipped; &quot;"Mentally, he's not that type of person,. He was trying to go to college, trying to do things, he had hopes for himself." Uhh... Yes... Yes he is Dionte. Yeah it really is a bummer when your &quot;trying to do things&quot; want to go to college and have hopes for yourself and stabbing someone, let alone a girl that may be carrying your child, gets in the way.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

&quot;Mentally, he's not that type of person,&quot; Sims, 21, said. &quot;He was trying to go to college, trying to do things, he had hopes for himself.&quot; Really? Doesn't quite make sense, does it? Maybe a more accurate and honest statement might have been something like this: &quot;I was unaware he was that type of person.&quot; He committed the crime, therefore he is the type of person to commit such a crime. That seems fairly obvious, doesn't it? He might have been hiding it, but it's more likely that people just weren't paying attention.


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 10:33 p.m.

The fun thing is that as a black male, this individual is 50% less likely to die on a given day IF he is in prison. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> At least in the Carolinas.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

and why not, malnutrition, lack of medical care and having somewhere to lay your head are no longer things they need to worry about providing for themselves in prison.


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

Just how young is he? Despite everyone else's age being cited in the article, I can't find Kelly's age. Frustrating. Is he in fact a juvenile? Kind of crucial to the article, no? I don't support juveniles being tried as an adult, albeit this crime strains my beliefs. Nonetheless, I hold to them. What is some ways is more disturbing is &quot;She was harassed by other students after the attack . . . . 'I was being called a snitch for telling what happened to me,' she said, explaining how other students would call out 'Free Cortae' as she walked by.&quot; Sounds like a whole generation of kids who condone violence and who, as such, have no futue. How does one change thinking like that? Is her school doing anything to try to alter such thinking?

Cendra Lynn

Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 4:35 a.m.

There are some people who will never adjust to societal rules and behavior. They cannot live with the rest of us. There are others who can learn and change, given proper help. Unfortunately sending someone to prison does not help with the latter, and in the case of the former does not protect us when they are released. There is no mental health care in prisons. There is a pretense made to provide it but it is delivered by people who believe that prisoners seeking mental health care are malingering. So we pay lots of money to get people out of our hair for awhile, and then....


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

ok this guy was gonna go to college?With no reasoning power?What did he think they would never suspect him?Um the first person police look to is the boyfriend.But he was a good kid.Why everyone stabs people 30 or 40 times.

LaWanda Garrett

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

This is truly a sad situation 4 all the parties involved. I pray that the families involved will find peace with the outcome. Anyone who would commit such a horrendous act certainly deserves to be punished. Hopefully this young man will change his life for the better &amp; come out of prison being able to contribute something positive to society. Anyone who would defend him however, &amp; claim that he is not &quot;that type of person&quot; is definitely in denial &amp; perhaps even delusional. It really baffles me that young people think its cool to call this young woman who almost lost her life a snitch! Bet they'd feel differently if it was their cousin or sister. Young people WAKE UP! SMH


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

No kidding! Just for 'fun', count out loud to twenty while making a stabbing motion at each number. THAT is no accident, or mistake, that is PURPOSE and INTENT!!!


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

"Mentally, he's not that type of person," Sims, 21, said. "He was trying to go to college, trying to do things, he had hopes for himself." Yes, lots of aspirations ONLY FOR HIMSELF or he never would have done this. Narcissism on his part, blindness on the others commenting on his behalf.


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

&quot;Mentally, he's not that type of person.&quot; He did it. Therefore he is the type of person who would do it. Q.E.D. I always think it's hilarious when someone like Sims can look at an event which actually happened and then say that it couldn't have happened.

Sandra Samons

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

Joy was harassed for being &quot;a snitch&quot;?!? There is something seriously wrong with a school's and a community's culture for those kids to view it this way. Isn't it possible for the adults (school personnel and parents, town hall meeting) in this school system to address this? Joy should NOT have found it necessary to change schools after narrowly avoiding being murdered! The adults are being apathetic here!

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

no, not apathetic ... s t u p i d!


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Such a sad culture to condone this type of behavior; "I was being called a snitch for telling what happened to me," she said, explaining how other students would call out "Free Cortae" as she walked by.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

I am wondering if the victim could get those on bullying charges. Just a thought because this is intimidation.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Joy, you will be in my thoughts and prayers for complete recovery. (calling a victim names is so rude and cruel) by fellow students is sad. Hopefully changing schools will work for you. Good Job Archie Brown, stabbing someone 20-30 times was NOT accident or a mistake. What happend that afternoon was (intent to Kill).


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

the animals who harassed this young lady will likely be joining this criminal in prison soon.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

He knew what he did and he needs to be serving hard time


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

wild bill hanncock is was


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

Good riddance. And I'm sure we'll be hearing similar reports in the future about his classmates/&quot;friends&quot; who harassed the victim and accused her of being a snitch. Geeze.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 9:40 p.m.

yeh .. good riddance .. and with 'ffriends' llike this: "I was being called a snitch for telling what happened to me," she said, ... she will be hanging out with a better crowd now. 'snitch' like h3ll! couragous is much mor elike it! good for her!


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

I could not agree more. The victim needs our prayers more now then ever. What a waste of young life.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

Is reporting just getting better or is crime on the rise....particularly crime of the violent type? Perhaps this has something to do with so many people unable to find jobs that pay something that allows a decent life? Yes, this guy went way over the line. But, I think there are more and more people losing it these days and crossing the line. It is scary.

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

Don't count on him being there until he is 35. With the inflated cost of bureuacracies and agencies in the 21st century, there will at some point be pressure to include these offenses in those qualifying for &quot;good time&quot;, so you never know.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

But if you reread the article he has to serve concurrent time for concealed weapons charge. Then maybe in 8 or so years he will get out on parole. Otherwise, he really needs to rethink why he did this and what he could have accomplished by snuffing out another young life.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

Hopefully being in prison until he's 35 will teach him to appreciate his life and the lives of others.


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Yeah, prison will teach him exactly that. Tuh!

John A2

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

He made a choice, and now he has to deal with the outcome. I really don't want this guy near my life. What was he thinking??...


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Violent offenders need to do time, doesn't matter how old they are. The ultimate goal is to protect society, right?

Mush Room

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

I'm not real keen on putting someone this young in prison, but, wow, this is vile.


Sun, Aug 21, 2011 : 12:19 a.m.

I'm not keen on punishing people for cultural norms (for their culture), but you have to draw a line someplace.