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Jury finds Ellis guilty of property theft

Published 11:00pm Monday, August 13, 2012

Written by Whitley Kilcrease

Accused Hunter’s Mountain rapist Andre Lamon Ellis was found guilty Monday on an unrelated charge of first-degree theft of property.

Ellis was arrested in March 2011 after receiving a loan worth $12,750 from First National Bank of Brundidge for a 2002 Chevrolet Corvette he never purchased from Troy Automotive Group, LLC.

Evidence presented by the prosecution suggested that Ellis forged documents at Troy Automotive Group, where he was employed, in order to get the loan from First National Bank in August 2009. The prosecution claimed Ellis acted without any intention of buying the car or repaying the loan.

Ellis later sold the car to a separate party in December 2009, leading the prosecution to conclude he never had any intention of buying the car, but only sought to acquire the money from the bank.

District attorney Tom Anderson referred to the false paperwork as “sleight of hand” and “smoke and mirrors” that Ellis used.

The defense negated the prosecutions claims by arguing that Ellis didn’t “act with intent to deceive” and could have planned to pay for the car at a later date. Defense attorney J. Carlton Taylor said Ellis made the loan repayments from October 2009 to March 2010, which is an indication of his intention to repay the loan.

“There is no intent to deprive the bank of their $12,750,” Taylor said during closing arguments. “There is no evidence he wasn’t ever going to buy the car.”

However, a jury unanimously reached a guilty verdict by 5:00 p.m. Monday.

Chris Avant, the owner of Troy Automotive Group, testified against Ellis along with Jerry Miller, loan officer with First National Bank of Brundidge, and Brian Mclendon, a detective with the Troy Police Department who investigated the case.

Evidence also included copies of the forged documents, such as a cancelled title application, a buyer’s order and bill of sale, as well as a voice recording of the questioning with Mclendon following Ellis’ March 2011 arrest.

Ellis’ sentencing date was not available at deadline. According to Alabama law, theft of property first-degree is a Class B felony and carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.


  • Harry

    This leaves me very confused . Here it is stated that he never bought the car and never had intentions of buying it , yet sold it to another party later on . Makes payments on loan for about six months yet it’s claimed he had no intentions of repaying the loan . That is one confused situation .

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  • WDM

    Harry I think he was a salesman at Troy Automotive Group is how he sold the car later.Don’t understand the deal about not paying the loan.

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  • Observer

    His lawyers can use this to provide evidence in the rape cases that he cannot get a fair trial in Troy because of the publicity, hysteria and vilification he has been subjected too prior to trial.

    If he was a salesman representing the dealership he was authorized to process the paperwork to buy and sell vehicles – in this case selling to himself. He made payments apparently until he was put in jail on the other charges.

    I don’t know any of the people involved in either of the cases and have no opinion as to guilt – but I hate to see justice take such a beating.

    As a caution – remember the case of Richard Jewel, the Atlanta Olympics security officer who saw the suspicious object and started to warn people away just before it exploded. In the hysteria following the bombing the FBI sought a quick suspect and focused on Jewel. The FBI used its power and fake image to destroy the man who should have been recognized as a hero – harassing him into a fatal heart attack before the real bomber – Eric Robert Rudolph was captured and convicted of the crime.

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  • longleafpine

    I am not sure how anyone could infer guilt or innocence based on this finely crafted article. Perhaps we should defer to our 12 fellow citizens of the jury and trust their judgement. Ellis will probably appeal the verdict and the wheels of justice will slowly grind forward.

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  • Prophet

    If the bank had followed proper procedure he could never have pulled this off. The designated agent that filled out the contract was supposed to list the bank as lien holder and the state would have mailed the title to the bank. The purchaser should never have the title in his hand until after the bank releases it.

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  • Divastar

    I must agree with all of the comments. There is a problem with the banking system,legal system, the local Judical system and the community. There is a RAT!!!! in the trap and Mr.Shine( Andrea Ellis) happens to be the cheese. It is no way possible that he will recieve a fair trail in Pike County on the ??able rape cases. I truly hope that after this verdict a smart lawyer would request a change of venue on the rape cases.It is sad that we have people in our community that possible lied to serve on this case for what unknown reason. I don’t know a single person who have not heard of Andre Ellis or Mr.Shine. The jurors as most of the public may have not been aware of this case because little details were given. The focus was placed on the rape cases, but the name truly rang a bell. This man name has been in the public view, as much a Bill Clinton and Monica Lewiskie( excuse my spelling). It has been proven on more than one occassion that this man has been proven GUILTY!!! before even going to trial. Whatever happen Innocent util proven Guilty?

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    • showdown482

      There is a RAT!!!! in the trap and Mr.Shine will be the cheese when he gets to KILBY PRISON…lol

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