Michael Paul Kerley, age 45, was arraigned yesterday in Cumberland County Criminal Court on charges of second-degree murder and the manufacture, sale, delivery, or possession of a Schedule II drug.

Kerley is accused of the death of Ashley Nicole Cressel. She was found unresponsive at her workplace in August 2021. She was pronounced dead after transport to the hospital. Cressel was found to have died from acute methamphetamine toxicity.

The TBI and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident and found Kerley, the woman’s boyfriend, provided her with the drugs.

A Cumberland County Grand Jury indicted Kerley on January 8, 2024.

As of this morning (Thursday, January 25, 2024), the sheriff’s office says Kerley remains in the Cumberland County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

An arraignment is usually the first court date in a criminal case. At an arraignment, a defendant finds out what they’re charged with and what rights they have. If they can’t afford a lawyer, the judge can appoint one for them. The judge also sets the next court dates.