Imagine picking up a hitchhiker, befriending him, letting him ride with you for 4 days, then learning he’s wanted for murder. That’s what happened to a Long Island truck driver this week.
On September 16, truck driver Manuel Velasco was approached by two men at a gas station off I-81 in Tennessee who wanted a ride . Velasco told the men he only had enough room for one of the men. 52-year-old Charles R. Kelly ended up being the one to get a ride.
“Velasco said he let Kelly cruise around with him during his deliveries and he even let the wanted man into his home for dinner. At night, Velasco let Kelly sleep in the cab of his truck, which was parked outside the driver’s home,” the New York Daily News reported.
On Thursday, Velasco and Kelly were traveling over the George Washington Bridge, when Velasco was pulled over by Port Authority Police.
The police began questioning the men, at which point, police grew suspicious of Kelly.
According to Port Authority Police, Kelly first told officers he was Velasco’s co-worker but then later changed his story.
“The officers did a background check and found Kelly was wanted on forgery and theft charges — and is a suspect in the May killing of a man in White Pine, Tenn,” New York Daily News reported.
Kelly was indicted by a grand jury for murder charges on August 27.
“Cops then found a knife in the glove compartment of the truck, which Velasco said he didn’t own.”
“The last thing I was expecting was for this guy to be a killer. He was so respectful,” Manuel Velasco told the Post. “He didn’t even curse. I bought him food to eat. He didn’t have money. I even paid for him to take a shower at a stop and then I gave him my clothes because he didn’t have any.”
Kelly was arrested and is awaiting extradition to Tennessee.