Bellevue, WA – A Washington woman, Shaerin Rose Kelley, has admitted to hiring two teenagers to murder her ex-husband, Baron Li. Kelley pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder in the second degree in King County Superior Court. She could face a maximum sentence of 13.75 years in prison, with her sentencing scheduled for November 17.
Kelley, along with the two 17-year-olds, was apprehended in October 2020 by Bellevue police detectives following a shooting incident at an apartment complex. Baron Li, the intended victim, vividly recalls the events of July 10, 2020, when he was shot nine times on his way to work. Li managed to survive the attack and underwent a grueling 15-month rehabilitation process. Some of the bullets remain lodged in his body to this day.
Li recounted the terrifying moment when he saw a gunman approaching him and sought refuge in his car at the Overlake Apartments in Bellevue, where he resided. Despite his efforts to take cover, the gunman fired multiple shots at him, shattering his arm and piercing his chest and side.
Li immediately suspected his ex-wife, Kelley, was behind the assassination attempt. When detectives visited him in the hospital after his surgery, he pointed them towards Kelley. Court documents reveal that Kelley and Li were embroiled in a contentious custody battle over their special needs son, which could have served as a possible motive for the crime.
Kelley, however, denied any financial motive in her plea agreement. She was initially charged with first-degree attempted murder but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Li, however, believes that the potential 13.75-year sentence is insufficient punishment for her crime.
Li also expressed concern about Kelley’s potential release before their son reaches adulthood. He fears that if the judge accepts the plea agreement, Kelley could be released when their son is only 17. Prosecutors, however, have cautioned that a trial does not guarantee a conviction.
The two teenagers involved in the crime also pleaded guilty to lesser charges. One was sentenced for first-degree murder, and the other, who fired the shots, was sentenced for attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. Li supported the plea deals for the teenagers, hoping they would use their time in jail to better themselves.
Li is now awaiting his day in court, where the judge will decide Kelley’s fate. Despite the trauma he endured, Li remains hopeful for a just outcome.