Former Tennessee detective accused of helping murder defendant get job as stripper, documents show

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sex, drugs and cash are just some of the things that WHBQ-TV uncovered in the internal affairs file of a retired Memphis Police Department homicide detective who admitted to having a sexual relationship with a murder defendant.

According to the documents, former Lt. Eric Kelly made his sexual intentions known the first time he met female murder defendant, Bridget Stafford. The documents state Bridgett Stafford was a high-ranking gang member.

Stafford reportedly told investigators Kelly told her he wanted to have sex with her, the documents said.

During an interrogation, Kelly asked Stafford if she was a stripper and a prostitute, and Kelly gave her his business card and told her to call him, documents showed.

Months later, Kelly, who had been promoted to lieutenant, and Stafford would begin an affair that one investigator wrote “has potentially jeopardized the ongoing legal proceedings against the suspect and her co-defendants.”

Not only would Kelly and the defendant have sex, but according to internal affairs file, Kelly helped her get a job as a stripper, sent her $3,000 through a cash app for outfits, other items and to buy marijuana, according to the documents.

According to the internal affairs file, the relationship between the homicide detective and murder defendant lasted for about eight months. Stafford told investigators Kelly had two different houses, and then he gave her access to one in Midtown where she would stay up to five times a week.

She had access to his guns and took pictures holding them and of her with Kelly, according to the file.

Despite the alarming allegations and evidence, internal affairs investigators concluded "Kelly never made any promises or threats dealing with her criminal case," documents said.

Just as top commanders were preparing to fire Kelly, he abruptly retired on Nov. 8, 2019, the day that he was supposed to have another hearing on the matter.

Comments on this article