Convicted rapist could get new trial (video)Published 1:04pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Judge Jeff Kelley has until May 27 to decide whether or not convicted rapist Andre Lamon Ellis will receive another trial.
Ellis’ attorney, J. Carlton Taylor, filed a motion for a new trial and appeared before Kelley Wednesday morning, citing that he felt important evidence was not made available to him before Ellis’ trial.
On Jan. 18, Ellis was found guilty of raping two women in Hunter’s Mountain Mobile Estates in Troy. The crimes happened on March 26, 2012, according to the two women involved.
Taylor insisted that victim statements he did not see prior to trial would have helped him cross examine witnesses, which could possibly have lead to a different verdict returned by a jury. Prosecutors maintained issues, such as conflicting timelines, were already brought up before a jury.
Another issue discussed in court Wednesday was that the defense wasn’t made aware that one victim identified a suspect prior to naming Ellis as her attacker. Prosecutors stated the suspect was cleared prior to the trial and there was no need, in their opinion, to include the information.
It was also mentioned that an artist’s rendering of the suspect, which was provided to media and the community, could have been made after one of the victims’ mothers did a social media search for black males in the area and shared the results with her daughter.
Kelley questioned the prosecuting attorneys as to why the information wasn’t shared. He said he would take Ellis’ motion into consideration, but did not make a decision Wednesday as to whether or not the accused man would receive a new trial.
As Ellis was escorted back to the Pike County Jail, he smiled at family members and said, “We just want justice. Let the truth be the truth.”
Ellis has maintained his innocence since the day of his arrest – April 26, 2012 – when he told media the Troy Police Department had made a mistake.
After the hearing Wednesday, Ellis’ family said they feel confident he will receive a new trial.
“I don’t feel like he got a fair trial the first time,” said Ellis’ wife, Francine Ellis.
“I just hope justice will be done. I hope all the evidence will be out and I hope everything is presented at the trial like it is supposed to be,” said Raymond Anderson, Ellis’ brother.
Ellis’ father, Robert Pickens, expressed relief Wednesday morning after leaving the courtroom.
“I feel so much better today because I had some restless nights and days,” Pickens said. “We all have.”
May 27 will mark 60 days after Ellis’ sentencing hearing. He was sentenced to 85 years in prison for each count of first-degree rape and 20 years in prison for one count of second-degree burglary. Kelley ordered the sentence to be served concurrently.