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Thread: Roy L. Ellis - Nebraska Death Row

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Roy L. Ellis - Nebraska Death Row

    Amber Harris

    Facts of the Crime:

    Convicted and sentenced to death for killing 12-year-old Amber Harris of Omaha in 2005.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    February 6, 2009

    OMAHA — An Omaha sex offender convicted of killing a 12-year-old girl has been sentenced to death.

    Roy Ellis is the first person to receive the penalty in Nebraska since the state Supreme Court banned the electric chair as a method of execution.

    A three-judge panel handed the death sentence to the 55-year-old Ellis on Friday. Last April, Ellis was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing Amber Harris. Jurors found aggravating circumstances in the crime, which made Ellis eligible for the death penalty.

    Roy Ellis, 55, was sentenced to death on Friday for killing 12-year-old Amber Harris of Omaha in 2005. He joins 10 other men on Nebraska’s death row.

    Here is a list of those men and their crimes:

    -- David Dunster, 54 -- Convicted of killing cellmate Larry Witt in 1997.
    -- Arthur Lee Gales, 43 -- Convicted of raping and strangling 13-year-old Latara Chandler and drowning her 7-year-old brother, Tramar, in Omaha in 2000.
    -- Jorge Galindo, 27 -- Convicted for his role in 2002 Norfolk bank murders that left five people dead.
    -- Jeffrey Hessler, 30 -- Convicted of killing Gering newspaper carrier Heather Guerrero in 2003.
    -- John Lotter, 37 -- Convicted of killing Teena Brandon, Lisa Lambert and Philip DeVine near Humboldt in 1993.
    -- Raymond Mata Jr., 36 -- Convicted of the 1999 murder and dismemberment of 3-year-old Adam Gomez in Scottsbluff.
    -- Carey Dean Moore, 51 -- Convicted of killing Omaha cab drivers Maynard D. Helgeland and Reuel Eugene Van Ness in 1979.
    -- Michael Ryan, 60 -- Convicted of killing James Thimm during ritualistic torture at a farm near Rulo in 1985.
    -- Jose Sandoval, 29 -- Convicted for his role in 2002 Norfolk bank murders that left five people dead.
    -- Erick Vela, 28 -- Convicted for his role in 2002 Norfolk bank murders that left five people dead.

    “He’s earned his access to hell,’’ Amber’s mother, Melissa, told reporters outside the courtroom. “My hatred for him is off the scale.’’

    But she said she doubts she’ll see the sentence carried out, because she expects an extended appeals process.

    “Either he’ll die before then or me,’’ Harris said.

    The state has no legal method of carrying out the death sentence. The state Supreme Court ruled last year that electrocution, Nebraska’s only method of execution, was a cruel and unusual punishment.

    The Legislature is considering a bill to change the method of execution to lethal injection, and another to repeal the death penalty altogether.

    But in the meantime, a death sentence was appropriate, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said.

    “Whatever that maximum penalty is, we felt that Roy Ellis deserved it,’’ Kleine said after the sentencing.

    Amber vanished in November 2005, after she was last seen getting off a school bus on her way home from school. Her remains were found in May 2006 in Hummel Park in far northeast Omaha.

    An autopsy indicated she died of blunt force trauma.

    Ellis was arrested in February 2007 after a 14-month investigation. Fox TV’s “America’s Most Wanted,’’ twice featured the Omaha girl’s case.

    DNA evidence on the girl’s book bag, found near Ellis’ residence, connected him to the crime.

    Ellis is a Level 3 sex offender — those deemed by Nebraska authorities as the most likely to reoffend — and had served jail time for previous sexual assaults on children.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    February 9, 2009

    Harris Family Satisfied By Death Sentence

    Roy Ellis Gets 'Free Pass To Hell,' Victim's Mother Says

    OMAHA, Neb. - Roy Ellis, who was sentenced to death Friday for killing 12-year-old Amber Harris, sat silent and with a clenched jaw in the courtroom as a judge reviewed the facts of Harris' slaying.

    Ellis abducted Harris three years ago, killed her and dumped her body in a wooded north Omaha park.

    With one finger, a sheriff's deputy inside the courtroom signaled the death sentence to those outside of the courtroom.

    Judge Greg Schatz explained why the three-judge panel upheld a jury's recommendation of death.

    The jury found that "the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, cruel or manifested exceptional depravity by ordinary standard of morality and intelligence."

    "It's a free pass to Hell. I have no doubt that's where he's going," said Amber's mother, Melissa Harris.

    In a 29-page sentencing order, the judges said Ellis' fellow inmate testified that he later overheard Ellis tell another inmate he killed Amber.

    According to the order, Ellis told the inmate that "he choked Amber while he was (sexually assaulting) her … and that he hit her on the head with a hammer."

    Ellis' attorneys expressed their condolences to the Harris family. They haven't said whether they'll appeal the sentence.

    Nebraska has been without a method of execution for a year, when the Supreme Court ruled that the electric chair was unconstitutional.

    The sentencing tore at old scars for the Harris family.

    "We're all hurt at hearing things drudged up again," said Harris, who listened to the verdict with her husband, Michael Harris and their children. "The audacity of the things he said about her just show what a sick person he is."

    "It just makes you cringe, having to hear all that stuff again," Michael Harris said.

    "I was sitting there with a lot of hatred in my heart. I hate to admit it but just hearing the things he said, he's just a creep," Melissa Harris said.

    Aisha Birge, Ellis' stepdaughter, said she was also happy with the sentence. She said she and her sister endured years of sexual abuse at Ellis' hands.

    "The stuff we go through and have to deal with every day, now he has to sit back and realize that it all came back on him," Birge said.

    Ellis had been convicted of raping Birge and her sister, but that sentence was served concurrently with a drug sentence and Ellis was out of prison in 10 years. Birge said she wishes the abuse had stopped with her.

    "If they would have done more for us, Amber still would have been here," she said.

    Melissa Harris said she takes some comfort in her newly arrived granddaughter, Allaya.

    "She makes everything OK," she said. "She looks a bit like Amber, too."

    Harris said the impact of the sentence didn't sink in until she was driving home.

    "I was just tired. It's like, my soul is tired," she said. "There will never be closure for me because she's not here."


  4. #4
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Inmate Personal Information

    Race: Black
    Gender: Male
    Date of Birth: 01/25/1954

    Crime and Trial Information

    * County of conviction: Douglas
    * Number of counts: One
    * Race of Victims: Black
    * Gender of Victims: Female
    * Date of crime: 2005
    * Date of Sentencing: 02/06/2009

    Legal Status

    Current Proceedings:
    Direct Appeal, Case No. S‐09‐0148


    Patrick Dunn
    Jerry Hug

    Court Opinions


    Legal Issues

  5. #5
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    State v Ellis

    Nebraska Supreme Court rejects appeal of death row inmate who killed 12-year-old girl

    The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a sex offender sentenced to death for killing a 12-year-old girl whose body was found buried in an Omaha park.

    Roy Ellis Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Amber Harris in 2006. Amber's remains were found May 2006 buried in Hummel Park.

    Attorneys for Ellis had argued that a lower court should not have allowed two women to testify at his 2008 murder trial that he repeatedly raped them when they were ages 14 and 12.

    The state's high court agreed in its opinion issued Friday that the lower court abused its discretion in admitting the women's testimony. But it said the state's physical evidence, including Ellis' DNA, was so strong as to make the error harmless.


  6. #6
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Ellis' petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    Death row inmate Roy Ellis assaulted at Tecumseh prison

    Authorities are investigating a Friday altercation in the death-row unit at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution that sent convicted killer Roy Ellis to a local hospital.

    Sources familiar with the incident identified Ellis, 62, as the injured inmate, and said he was attacked by three others on death row.

    He was treated for non-life threatening injuries at Johnson County Hospital and returned to the prison later that night, said Dawn-Renee Smith, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, without confirming Ellis was the inmate involved.

    An investigation of Friday's assault is ongoing. Smith said the Corrections Department will also complete an internal critical incident review.

    Trying to get married before I turn 27.

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