Priest Connected to Murder Suspect Resigns Cape Post

By Dave Wedge
Boston Herald [Cape Cod MA]
November 14, 2003

A suspended priest tied to accused Falmouth killer Paul Nolin has resigned from a Woods Hole church, two weeks after he testified before a grand jury probing the gruesome slaying.

The Rev. Bernard Kelly was suspended by the Fall River diocese after prosecutors questioned him about Nolin and what he knew about the Sept. 20 killing of 20-year-old Jonathan Wessner. He resigned from the diocese this week, according to his lawyer, Frank O'Boy.

"Certainly there's a lot of wind swirling around him, and he was removed from the parish. I think you can draw your own conclusions," O'Boy said yesterday. "It's expected. He's 70 years old."

Kelly was forced to testify two weeks ago before a Barnstable Superior Court grand jury, despite claiming his conversations with Nolin were protected by a law shielding defendants' statements to priests.

Prosecutors reportedly believe Kelly had a sexual relationship with Nolin, a 39-year-old convicted child rapist. Kelly, at the urging of his friend, the Rev. Donald Turlick, hired Nolin as a handyman at St. Joseph's Church in Woods Hole. Turlick counseled Nolin in jail and rented him an apartment in Mashpee when Nolin was released in 2000 after serving 18 years for raping a 10-year-old boy.

O'Boy, who denied Kelly and Nolin were lovers, does not believe the priest is a target of the grand jury probe, but said he expects Kelly to testify again. O'Boy says his client passed a polygraph test in which he denied having any knowledge about the murder.


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