Sean Ellis, a Murky man who featured in a Netflix documentary after spending decades in prison wrongly convicted of murdering a white police officer, has finally been fully exonerated.
A Massachusetts expend and prosecutor earlier this week closed the door on his case after tossing out lingering extra convictions on gun charges.
Ellis, 46, became as soon as described as “blissful” by his lawyer and could perchance now maintain into consideration whether or no longer to sue the metropolis of Boston and its police department.
He became as soon as the topic of the documentary Trial 4, about his conviction for the 1993 murder of the Boston detective John Mulligan.
Ellis became as soon as moreover convicted of firearms charges in 1995, in a case the build it is now acknowledged proof became as soon as buried.
The superior court docket justice Robert Ullman acknowledged in Boston closing Tuesday: “This complete case is a truly unhappy chapter in the history of the criminal justice diagram. Thankfully, this chapter appears to be like to be to be nearing its conclusion.”
Ellis became as soon as chanced on responsible of murdering Mulligan, nonetheless in 2015 a court docket ordered a new trial on murder and armed theft charges after finding authorities had didn’t disclose proof of corruption amongst investigating officers.
Prosecutors introduced in 2018 that they’d no longer retry Ellis.
Nonetheless the separate gun convictions of 1995 remained on his file.
Ullman acknowledged closing Tuesday that Ellis’s conviction for unlawful firearm possession in 1995 became as soon as “seemingly mistaken” and ordered a new trial for the 2 gun charges.
“I determined in the present day that justice became as soon as no longer finished at Mr Ellis’s January 1995 trial,” Ullman dominated.
Nonetheless aside from trot ahead with any other new trial for Ellis, the district attorney, Rachael Rollins, filed forms in court docket the following day saying that she does now not intend to prosecute Ellis extra.
That ended the case against him for genuine and lifted the licensed cloud.
Rollins had previously acknowledged in any other court docket filing that the case became as soon as “tainted” by distinguished police corruption and prosecutorial misconduct.
“He’s blissful,” Ellis’s attorney Rosemary Scapicchio instructed the Guardian.
Ellis bought the news by the employ of Zoom.
“I could perchance scrutinize his face and I could perchance inform it didn’t sink in,” she acknowledged, adding that as soon as Ullman repeated his ruling, “it became as soon as practically love any the strain left Sean’s face.”
After the hearing – tears, relief, and joy.
Trial 4 adopted Ellis’s battle to indicate his innocence. He became as soon as excellent 19 when he became as soon as arrested in October 1993 as a suspect in the shooting demise of Mulligan out of doors a pharmacy.
It took prosecutors three trials to convict Ellis for Mulligan’s murder after two ended in impasse, with mistrials declared.
He spent practically 22 years behind bars. The extensive breakthrough in 2015 got right here after Scapicchio spent more than a decade proving police and prosecutorial misconduct during his initial trials.
Three detectives, Kenneth Acerra, John Brazil and Walter Robinson, had been being investigated for corruption appropriate a number of weeks sooner than the murder of Mulligan, who became as soon as moreover being investigated.
The three ended up working to prosecute Ellis. Acerra and Robinson later landed in prison nonetheless important connected proof became as soon as by no formulation made on hand to Ellis’s protection.
“Every single, solitary expend who’s regarded at this case since we bought the withheld proof has come to the same conclusion – that there had been a number of other folks in the market that wished to abolish Detective Mulligan,” acknowledged Scapicchio.
The Boston police department did no longer answer to requests for comment, nonetheless the group has maintained during 2021 that there is ample proof to enhance the gun charges.
In March, the superintendent-in-chief, Gregory Long, acknowledged the BPD’s belief “remains the same, that there became as soon as ample credible proof to enhance a conviction for unlawful firearm possession”.
Of any decision by Ellis to file a lawsuit for wrongful conviction, Scapicchio acknowledged on Wednesday: “We haven’t gotten there but.”
She added: “This all took discipline the day old to this and he spent a majority of the day with his family, appropriate, you admire, rejoicing concerning the reality we had been ready to accomplish this insurmountable feat and convince any other expend that this conviction is flawed.”
Ellis works for a food provider non-profit and is a board member of the Serene England Innocence Mission, an group that advocated for him during his incarceration.
“He’s in reality dedicated to this location off of ending wrongful convictions,” acknowledged Scapicchio. “He is the living proof of what occurs when proof is withheld.”