Andre Ellis receives new trial

Published 4:13 pm 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.

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“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.