Not guilty plea issued in death of Port Townsend musician

PORT TOWNSEND — Adam Michael Kelly pleaded not guilty today to 10 felony counts, including controlled substances homicide, in the March 27 death of Port Townsend musician Jarrod Bramson.

Kelly, 38, was arraigned in Jefferson County Superior Court, appearing before Judge Keith Harper on a video monitor from the Jefferson County jail.

Defense counsel Richard Davies said that Kelly waived the reading of all 10 counts and entered a plea of not guilty, especially with respect to “count one” — the controlled substances homicide count.

“Mr. Kelly did not kill his friend Jarrod,” Davies said. “He tried to save his life.”

Bramson — who with his wife, Emily Madden, played in the duo Solvents — died of an apparent overdose. He was 43.

A group of 16 of Bramson’s relatives and friends sat in the courtroom and listened to the proceedings.

“We feel Adam Kelly is responsible so we just want to support Jared and his family,” said Shannon Summers, a friend of Bramson’s family.

Friends are planning a memorial for Bramson at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Palindrome, 1893 S Jacob Miller Road, with a formal memorial at 5 p.m. Summers said a grief tent and music will be part of the remembrance.

Davies on Friday asked Harper to reduce Kelly’s $500,000 bail, saying Kelly had tried to get Bramson medical assistance.

But Christopher Ashcraft, chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, said that Kelly had sold drugs all over the world from a Port Townsend steroid drug lab for years, “at times with amounts of income that is more than anybody in this room makes.”

Harper ruled that the bail amount be kept at $500,000.

In addition to the controlled substances homicide charge, Kelly is charged with five counts of sale, delivery or possession with intent to sell or deliver a legend drug in a school zone; manufacture of a counterfeit controlled substance in a school zone; possession of a punch die in a school zone; possession of a controlled substance — heroin – in a school zone; and unlawful use of building for drug purposes in a school zone.

Kelly remained in the Jefferson County jail today. His arraignment will continue next Friday, April 19 at 8:30 a.m. An omnibus hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. May 10 to set the court date. A pretrial hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. May 31.


Jefferson County Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

For more on this story, see the Sunday Jefferson County edition of the Peninsula Daily News.