Wynonna Judd's Daughter Sentenced For Meth Charges

By Paul Gaita 07/03/18

Grace Pauline Kelley has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Grace Pauline Kelley
Grace Pauline Kelley Photo via YouTube

Grace Pauline Kelley, daughter of singer Wynonna Judd, was sentenced to eight years in prison for violating probation for a 2017 drug charge.

Kelley, 22, left a 180-day in-house rehab program on November 19, 2017 before she was scheduled to be released, which violated the terms of probation she received for charges of manufacturing, delivery and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in May 2017.  

Robert Reburn, the Public Information Officer East Tennessee for the Tennessee Department of Correction, confirmed an inquiry by Us Weekly that Kelley had received the eight-year sentence, which does not expire until August 2025.

Kelley is the younger of two children by Wynonna Judd, who was one-half of the popular '80s country duo the Judds with her mother, Naomi; her father is Judd's first husband, Arch Kelley, whom Judd divorced in 1998, two years after Grace Kelley's birth.

She made headlines for the first time in 2014, when Judd's half-sister, actress Ashley Judd, sought temporary custody of the 17-year-old after she alleged that her mother abused drugs and alcohol and was verbally abusive. Wynonna Judd denied those charges.

A year later, Kelley was arrested at a Walgreens in Nashville and charged with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture after police found a bag of items used for making meth in a plastic bag that Kelley reportedly threw from her car.

She pled guilty to possession and received probation, which was revoked in 2016 after Kelley was arrested in Alabama on charges of being a fugitive from justice.

In 2017, Kelley pled guilty to the aforementioned methamphetamine charges in Williamson County Court in Tennessee, and received a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as a fine of $3,092.50, and a second suspended sentence of four years after pleading guilty to evading arrest in nearby Maury County.

She was required to complete the 180-day rehab program and then 30 days in jail in March 2017, which would have then allowed her to complete the balance of her sentence on probation.

According to Taste of Country, Kelley served her 30 days in June 2017 and moved on to rehab, but left the program on November 19, 2017. "[Kelley] was terminated from the recovery court program on November 21, 2017," said a spokeperson for Williamson County. "A warrant for probation violation was issued on November 22, 2017 and served on December 16, 2017."

Probation was officially revoked on February 8, 2018, and Kelley was given the eight-year sentence, as well as the four-year sentence for evading arrest.

Kelley will be eligible for parole on February 4, 2019. The Judd family and her father, Arch Kelley, have not issued any statement on her sentence. 

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.