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Platte County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Receives Up and Coming Award

10/16/2023 7:00:00 PM

AwardKaitlynn Donnelly (Right)



Platte County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kaitlynn Donnelly has been named an Up and Coming Lawyer by Missouri's Lawyers Media. Donnelly has served as an assistant prosecuting attorney for the county since 2016.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, "Platte County is fortunate to have an attorney of Ms. Donnelly's caliber advocating for public safety in our community. She truly is an up and coming lawyer who will continue to do great work for the public for many years to come."

Donnelly was named one of 54 Up and Coming Lawyers and one of only three named from the public service arena. The annual award recognizes early-career lawyers who demonstrate professional excellence while making a positive impact on their profession and communities.

While she prosecutes a wide variety of cases, Donnelly handles many of the office's crimes against children, which Zahnd said are often the most complex and difficult cases.

Among many guilty verdicts, Donnelly said one stands out--the conviction of Brian Keeling, a man who sexually abused two girls, ages 12 and 14. Because Donnelly proved Keeling was a predatory sex offender under Missouri law, he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

That life without parole sentence is particularly important because Keeling had earlier received probation and been paroled after a short sentence for prior sex offenses. Keeling had been convicted of forcible rape, forcible sodomy, and kidnapping in Jackson County in 1995. Also in Jackson County in 2003, he was convicted of statutory rape and two counts of statutory sodomy. He received probation in the forcible rape, forcible sodomy, and kidnapping case. He was sentenced to prison on the 2003 charges but was paroled on a seven-year sentence in 2006. 

Donnelly said, "I am proud to have a career where I can make a positive impact on my community. I'm now a mother myself, and that brings even more meaning to the work I do to obtain justice for victims of crime, particularly children who have been abused."




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10/17/2023
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