In Judge Denise Bradley's courtroom on Wednesday there was court but no defendant. The chair for William David Kelley remained empty. The no-show no surprise to his victims.
"He's all about controlling the situation and this is the only thing he can possibly control at this point," said widower Joe Lychner.
Kelley instead listened from a side room as victims told a jury why he should go back to prison for life. Less than two years after his release, he was convicted Tuesday of not registering as a sex offender. In 1990, he attacked the wrong person.
Already a convicted rapist and child molester, Kelley targeted Pam Lychner. He choked her and tried to kidnap her. Kelley was convicted and sentenced to 20 years for attempted kidnapping.
Within two years he was up for parole and Lychner was furious. She worked tirelessly for victims' rights and fought for changes to sex offender registration and tracking laws. They came in 1996 the same year she and her two young daughters were killed in the TWA Flight 800 explosion.
"I'll continue to do this for my wife and my family," Joe Lychner said.
The same work Lychner started two decades ago, her husband continues now, testifying in the punishment phase of Kelley's trial. Ironic that his victim even in death still has an impact on his life.
"Very gratifying that the system is working and that the state of Texas is pursuing sex predators who do not register," said Joe Lychner.
Calling him a habitual offender, the state is pursuing a sentence of 25 years to life in prison, which is highly unusual for failure to register.
Kelley was required to register every 90 days, but the last time he did so was May of last year.