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Murder of Marc Despain, involving his wife, Michelle Despain, and her father, Carl Kelley, is spotlighted on Fatal Family Feud

Carl Kelley and Michelle Despain mugshot
Michelle Despain and her father, Carl Kelley, orchestrated the murder of Marc Despain. Pic credit: Arkansas Department of Corrections / Family

Fatal Family Feud on Investigation Discovery is spotlighting the murder of Marc Despain that involved his wife, Michelle Despain, and her father, Carl Kelley.

On August 24, 2011, police officers were dispatched to a home in the 4300 block of Jenni Lane in Jonesboro, Arkansas, after receiving a frantic 911 call from Michelle. She claimed that when she returned home from work, she found her husband dead on the kitchen floor.

Crime scene investigators discovered that it Marc had been shot to death by intruders, who entered the home through an unlocked door.

Jonesboro Police Detective Vic Brooks said, “There were things that were out of place, drawers opened, things on the floor. Someone had tried to go through the house looking for something.”

However, as the investigation continued, Brooks stated that the incident appeared to be staged as there were valuables left behind and other peculiar aspects of the crime scene that made little sense.

Investigators briefly questioned Michelle at the crime scene, but it wasn’t until the following day that they were able to grill her about what happened on the day of the murder.

Michelle told them she last saw Marc around 1:30 pm when he took her to lunch. About an hour later, she went home to retrieve some bills so she could pay it that day, but instead, she said she walked into a horrific murder scene.

She told investigators Marc’s father, Jack Despain, may have had something to do with his death because he was cold-hearted. Michelle’s father, Carl Kelley, made the same accusation.

Detectives later uncovered that Marc and his father were involved a family feud that occurred years earlier while he was working at their real estate company.

Marc’s mother, Tana Despain, stated that the dispute was over money and that Michelle was to blame for it. She said, “The fight really began between Michelle and Jack, not Marc and Jack. But Marc stood up for his wife, and that put pressure between him and his dad.”

After officers questioned Jack, they became suspicious of him, but that was short lived when they verified that he was at home with his wife at the time Marc was murdered.

Investigators now had their eye on Michelle, whose relationship with her husband wasn’t as perfect and happy as she made it out to be. Apparently, she was having an affair and things went sour after that.

Evidence showed that Michelle would collect a $2 million in life insurance after Marc’s death and that she was going to share it with her father.

An investigation revealed that Kelley asked Marc’s tenant, Johnny Hubbard, to kill his son-in-law. Hubbard stated that if he didn’t comply, he would be homeless. He couldn’t do the job himself, so he asked Terrance Barker, a known criminal-for-hire, to do the job for him.

Terrance Barker and Johnny Hubbard mugshot
Terrance Baker (L) shot and killed Marc Despain at the request of Johnny Hubbard (R). Pic credit: Arkansas Department of Corrections

Baker told police that Kelley gave him a gun, and on the day of the murder, Michelle was giving details to her father on how Marc should be murdered via text message, which had been deleted — and that information was passed on to Baker.

Kelley and Baker were arrested and charged with first-degree murder in which they pled guilty. They were both sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Hubbard pled guilty to hindering apprehension and received 18 years in prison with an additional 20 years for violating his probation.

Although Michelle claimed to have had nothing to do with Marc’s murder, she was arrested and also charged with hindering apprehension. Surveillance footage captured her at lunch with her husband, but investigators said it was a ploy to get him out of his home office so that Baker could enter.

Michelle later pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Fatal Family Feud airs at 11:00 pm on Investigation Discovery.

Angelica N. Sumter is a freelance journalist who has covered true crime for more than 10 years. In addition to Monsters and Critics, her work... read more
Angelica N. Sumter


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