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Archive for Thursday, July 11, 1996

CASE WINDS DOWN IN OTTAWA MURDER CONSPIRACY TRIAL

July 11, 1996

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— Testimony concluded Wednesday in the trial of a woman accused of conspiring to commit a killing to revenge her daughter's murder.

Jurors in the trial of Paula Ellis, Ottawa, are scheduled to return today to Franklin Court District Court to hear closing statements and begin deliberations.

Ellis was charged in February with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, aiding a felon and soliciting to commit perjury in the Oct. 15 shooting of Heath Griffin, then 17.

Prosecutors allege Ellis was among a group that plotted the shooting in retaliation for a Sept. 24 shooting in which Ellis' daughter, Stephanie Perez, 14, was killed.

Alejandro Rodriguez, 21, Princeton, is serving 30 months in prison on a conviction related to Griffin's shooting. Jonathan C. Perez, one of Ellis' sons, has been granted one year of probation. Another of Ellis' sons, Steven Perez, 18, on Monday was granted 18 months' probation.

Sentencing is pending for Marcus Gutierrez, 16, Ottawa, and charges are pending against Kenneth M. Rodgers, 32, St. Charles, Mo., who testified in a preliminary hearing for Ellis that he fired at Griffin.

Griffin, who suffered minor injuries, is related to Nicholas Griffin, 17, one of nine people who were implicated in Stephanie Perez's death.

Ellis' trial began earlier this week.

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