LINCOLN, Neb. (May 29, 2022 – AP) — A man with a long history of mental illness when he killed the grandfather of two Nebraska football players more than two decades ago has died in prison.
Russell Harms died in the Nebraska prison system’s Reception and Treatment Center in Lincoln on Monday, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services said. in a news release. Harms was 64.
Harms had been in prison 22 years for gunning down 84-year-old Tennyson Kelsay in the parking lot of an Auburn shopping center in 1999. The older man was the grandfather of then-Nebraska rush end Chris Kelsay and former Nebraska and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Chad Kelsay.
Harms was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison after his trial judge rejected his insanity defense, despite Harms having been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic with a long history of failed medications and hospitalizations. The Nebraska Supreme Court later upheld Harms’ conviction and sentence.