All charges dropped for Ellis

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 21, 2014

After almost three years, Andre Ellis has been cleared of all charges connected to a March 2012 incident.

Ellis was previously convicted of two counts of rape second degree and a burglary first-degree charge in January 2013. Following the initial ruling, jurors came forward with resignations about the case. After a closed hearing, the ruling was still upheld, however, Ellis’ conviction was overturned by Judge Jeff Kelley in May 2013, five months later.

Kelley’s eight-page order cited issues including inconsistency in a victim’s testimony and “reasonable probability” that the results of the first trial would have been different if the state had disclosed other evidence pertaining to the case.

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The District Attorney’s office filed a motion to appeal the overturned ruling, but both the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Supreme Court cited timeliness issues with the petition, saying the District Attorney’s Office failed to file the appeal within the seven-day window mandated by law. The motion was originally filed in June 2013.

Following the dismissal of the charges Thursday, Ellis’ attorney J Taylor said he was pleased with the decision that had been made.

“Mr. Ellis is elated about the dismissal of all charges against him,” Taylor said in a statement Thursday following the status call for Ellis. “This has been a hard fought battle for a long time. We feel justice has finally prevailed in this case and want to thank all of the people who have supported both Mr. Ellis, his legal counsel and the decision of the trial court.”

The decision to move for and agree to a dismissal was not taken lightly, said Chris Kaminski from the District Attorney’s Office.

“Just after talking with everybody involved, we just decided to not bother with prosecution again,” Kaminski said.

The decision for a dismissal was not the outcome hoped for by the District Attorney’s Office, and after two long years, Kaminski said it was unfortunate this was how their journey would end.

“It’s…weird is not really the right word, a good word would be unfortunate,” Kaminski said. “It’s unfortunate that we go through a trial, and 12 jurors find without a reasonable doubt that he is guilty and then it’s overturned. It’s unfortunate.”

The incident occurred more than two years ago, and Kaminski said there had been many people involved with the case from the very beginning and Thursday’s dismissal had undone all of the work put into the case.

“There are victims involved,” Kaminski said. “There are families involved. And, you have two young women who went through the most traumatic decision and events of their lives and to have all that undone is unfortunate.”

While Ellis’ charges were dropped for this particular case, he is still currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for unrelated charges for theft of property.