Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pregnant woman's "boyfriend" sentenced to life without parole for stabbing her to death

An Anderson, SC man who stabbed his pregnant girlfriend 25 times until she bled to death in front of her 7 year old daughter was sentenced to life without parole Thursday, October 22. Circuit Court Judge Cordell Maddox sentenced Christopher Ellis to life without parole after an hour of jury deliberations. The life without parole sentences were for the murder of Erica Olsen and her unborn child. These sentences will run consecutively with a 10 year sentence for possessing a weapon in the commission of a violent crime.

On Oct. 23, 2006, police went to an apartment in Fairview Gardens after dispatchers received a 911 hang-up call and heard a woman screaming in the background. Police found Olson with stab wounds covering her upper body. Ellis was lying on top of her, with wounds to his abdomen and neck. Olson’s 7-year-old daughter told police that Ellis had stabbed her mother and then stabbed himself.

Ellis, the only witness to testify on Wednesday and the only witness the defense called, said Olson had attacked him as he fell asleep in a recliner. According to him, he had been at another woman’s house that afternoon and Olson was angry that he had been cheating on her.

Ellis, who admitted being drunk and high on crack, said that the victim came after him with a knife while he was trying to fall asleep in a recliner. He claimed that he went to the bathroom and the victim stabbed him then. The perp claimed that he called 911, but the phone kept coming out of the wall.

The victim's 7 year old daughter, who testified for the prosecution, said that she awoke to her mother's screams, and saw the victim stabbed to death. The daughter also saw Ellis stab himself in the stomach afterwards.
Assistant Circuit Solicitor Catherine Huey said that Ellis' statement was incredible, and that the 911 tapes showed that he was trying to control the situation.
 “He told dispatchers ‘It’s OK.’ In all that time he never even asked for help. Both he and Erica are hurt and he never asks for help. They want you to believe the phone kept falling out of the wall. But the dispatcher knew something bad was going on. He heard the screaming and he kept calling back. … But by that time, you can’t hear Erica anymore.”
10th Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams said the crime was a warning to other women in abusive situations. Huey said thew victim waited too long to move out of the place she shared with Ellis.
Adams' statement is below.
This was a horrific crime, committed in front of a 7-year-old child by someone with a previous history of domestic abuse against the victim, a fact I hope will not be lost on those in our community who today find themselves in abusive relationships. We are grateful to the jury and pleased that this defendant will be locked away for the rest of his life,” she said.
The victim's grandmother, Gayle Davison, said that she was satisfied that Ellis won't be able to hurt another woman again. “I think the fact that he will never be able to do this to anyone else is what we all needed. It will be three long years on the 23rd of this month. We’ve waited a long time for this.”

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