85 YEARSPublished 11:00pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Mothers speak, convicted rapist sentenced in Pike County court Wednesday
One day after the year anniversary of his crimes, Andre Lamon Ellis was sentenced for the rape of two women in Hunter’s Mountain Mobile Home Park in Troy.
Ellis appeared before Judge Jeff Kelly Wednesday morning to hear the court’s punishment. Ellis was sentenced to 85 years for each rape conviction and 20 years for a burglary that took place during one of those cases.
The mothers of both victims spoke to the court before Ellis’ sentence was handed down.
One mother addressed Ellis directly. “My husband is the backbone of our family, but you chose to be a rapist. I feel so sorry for your family.”
The other victim’s mother talked about the impact Ellis’ crime had on her family and read a letter written by her daughter.
“For months I could not sleep alone, or even be by myself,” the victim wrote. “This event took me to a low place. It will always be part of my life.”
Assistant District Attorney Scherryl Harrison requested a sentence of life without parole from Kelley, noting three prior felony convictions for theft.
Kelley used the voluntary sentencing guidelines for the state and, instead, Ellis will serve his 85-year, 85-year and 20-year sentences concurrently, with credit for time already served.
“We intend to appeal this conviction,” said Ellis’ attorney, J. Taylor.
April Tillis, mother to one of the victims, agreed to speak to the media after the hearing.
“I have a great relief today,” Tillis said. “I am excited to call my daughter and tell her what the verdict was.”
Tillis said, although the last year has been hard for her family, they pulled together with prayer to make it through.
“I am very satisfied and pleased with the sentence,” Tillis said. “As long as he got sentenced with something. As long as he knows he couldn’t get away with it…As long as he didn’t get away with it, I am fine with whatever the judge gave him.”
Both mothers thanked the Troy Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office for their help in prosecuting Ellis.
Although the sentence wasn’t what was asked for by the DA’s Office, Assistant District Attorney Chris Kaminski said 85 years will be enough for the victims to re-establish their lives in a positive way.
“Really, our main concern is just making sure the victims have their sense of security back,” Kaminski said.
Both victims have returned to school.
Ellis, known in Troy as Mr. Shine for his auto detailing business, is also serving a 22-year sentence for theft of property in Pike County.