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Woman guilty of first-degree murder in 2007 Janna Kelly cold case

Posted at 4:20 PM, Nov 06, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -A jury on Friday found Robin Root guilty of first-degree murder in the 2007 death of Janna Kelly.

The prosecution and defense called their last witnesses Thursday and Friday morning started with each side presenting their closing arguments.  The prosecution talked about how Root put the duct tape over Kelly's mouth, which ended up suffocating her, and left her in the trunk of her car.  They talked about how Root also went back to the body, which was dumped in Ottawa County, and set it on fire to try and cover her tracks.

After showing the court the confession video of Root to Ottawa County detectives Thursday, the prosecution argued today that it is clear that "Kelly died at the hands of Robin Root."

The defense opened their closing arguments saying there is no proof of premeditation on Root's part in the crime.  They argue that nothing in Root's past that would lead to her being a murderer.

Root was arrested earlier this year in the cold case. DNA evidence collected in 2007 implicated her, but Grand Rapids Police didn't submit the evidence to the state crime lab.

Ottawa County detectives found the evidence in 2014 and filed the charges against Root.

Kelly, 60, disappeared from her Grand Rapids home Dec. 4, 2007.  Her body was found March 13, 2008 in Grand Haven Township, according to Ottawa County officials.

Root later confessed to the murder, saying she pushed Kelly during an argument, knocked her unconscious, and put her in the trunk of her car.

Root will be sentenced at 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and faces life in prison.