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Andre Ellis receives new trial

Published 4:13pm Friday, May 17, 2013

Andre Lamon Ellis, convicted of raping two women in Troy, will receive a new trial.

Ellis’ conviction was overturned by Pike County Circuit Judge Jeff Kelley early Friday morning.

Ellis was convicted of two counts of rape and one count of second-degree burglary that happened on March 26, 2012. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 85 years for each rape and 20 years for the burglary charge.

“We are super excited that he is getting a new trial,” said Ellis’ brother, Raymond Anderson, from his home in Tuscaloosa. “We talked to him earlier today and he is also excited. Maybe this whole thing is about to turn around.”

Kelly’s eight-page order cited several reasons for his decision, which were also discussed at an April 24 hearing where Ellis’ attorney requested a new trial.

Among the issues cited in there order were: “inconsistency” in one victim’s testimony regarding the timeline of events on the day of the alleged rape; “reasonable probability” that the results of the first trial would have been different if the State had not suppressed evidence; that much of the evidence that wasn’t disclosed by the State would have provided an opportunity to impeach the credibility of one witness and the investigation; that exculpatory and impeachable evidence that was suppressed was favorable to the defense; and that a victim was not truthful to medical professionals about what happened to her, a crime scene was cleaned and text messages were deleted prior to an investigation.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Kaminski released a statement late Friday afternoon that said, while respectful of the court’s decision, the State “disagrees with and is disappointed in the findings of the court as well as the outcome.”

Kaminski relayed that the District Attorney’s Office is reviewing all options possible with the Court of Criminal Appeals and intends to seek whatever relief is available.

The statement said, “The State further stands with the victims of these horrendous acts and will continue to make efforts to insure that Andre Ellis is held accountable for his actions.”

Kelley ordered a scheduling conference to be held on Aug. 1 to set a date for a new trial.

Johnson said he and his family will be at any appearance Ellis has in order to support him.

“We are praying that the court can see the truth,” Johnson said. “We believe there is no way he could have done it.”

Andre Ellis remains in prison where he is serving 22 years on a theft of property charge.

 

  • Mook

    Well considering the information and allegedly evidence were withheld, truthfully I think he should get a new trail. In my opinion and if I were the victim and there was a chance that Ellis did not do this I would want the true rapist captured. If Ellis did not do this then that means the real rapist is still out there and can rape again. This is a very serious crime for the victims and for the alleged rapist. For the victims it means you want to make sure you have the right person and for the alleged rapist this is his life, his freedom. So I appauld the Judge for making that decision. I would rather have my t’s crossed than to send an innocent person, of rape that is, to prison or release a guilty person. In my opinion the Judge did the right thing considering the information he received.

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  • Observer

    What role did the police or prosecutors play in suppressing evidence, erasing text messages, etc.? If the victim did the cleaning and erasing and changed her story a second trial may be unnecessary. If the DA or police intentionally concealed, hid, or destroyed exculpatory evidence someone should be prosecuted for that.

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    • Aborted

      I agree that someone should be held accountable for this mockery.

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  • Mook

    @ Observer, I agree. I really didn’t think about the police or DA office playing a role in removing evidence. I’m not accusing the DA’s office of anything but I certainly hope they would not with-hold evidence to win a case. We are talking about peoples lives here, that includes the accuser as well as the victims. If I were the victim I certainly would want to make sure I choose the right person and if I were the accuser I would want all evidence submitted while I’m fighting to keep my freedom. I just think all parties should do what they know to be right.

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  • Aborted

    What a mess! This can not be the order of the day.

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