SJC Grants Sean Ellis New Trial In 1993 Murder Of Boston Police Detective

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A man convicted in the 1993 shooting death of a Boston police detective will get a new trial, the state’s highest court ruled Friday.

Sean Ellis, 41, was released on $50,000 bail in June 2015, a month after Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball ruled Ellis was entitled to a new trial in the murder of Detective John Mulligan.

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley’s office later challenged the judge’s decision before the Supreme Judicial Court in May.

The SJC upheld Ball’s ruling Friday, saying, “the motion judge did not abuse her discretion in ruling that the newly discovered evidence warrants a new trial.”

Mulligan was shot five times in the face while he slept in his car while on a security detail in September 1993.

Detective John Mulligan. (File Image)

Detective John Mulligan. (File Image)

Ellis was convicted of first-degree murder in 1995. He was serving a life sentence until he was set free on bail.

Ball said Ellis didn’t get a fair trial because two detectives who played key roles in the investigation later pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

Police at the scene of Detective John Mulligan's murder in 1993. (WBZ-TV file image)

Police at the scene of Detective John Mulligan’s murder in 1993. (WBZ-TV file image)

She also said police and prosecutors didn’t provide Ellis’ original defense team with all the evidence he was entitled to, including federal and police reports suggesting others had reasons to kill Mulligan.

When told about the SJC ruling Friday morning, Ellis cried tears of joy, according to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.

Ellis is currently living in Lynn, working full-time.  He will remain free on bail while waiting for his new trial.

Conley’s spokesman, Jake Wark, said prosecutors fully expect to re-try Ellis.

“Never once in more than 20 years has a single piece of reliable evidence undercut the compelling case against Mr. Ellis, and we intend to present that case to a jury once again,” Wark said in a statement.

“As the SJC noted, not one shred of information developed since Detective Mulligan’s murder has contradicted the strong evidence on which Ellis was convicted. The court found that certain documents may have provided his first attorney with an alternative trial strategy, but none of them suggested actual innocence and many are inadmissible as evidence.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports


One Comment

  1. LovesAmerica says:

    If he’s still found guilty, he should be given the death penalty

  2. mstarvin says:

    Will this judge feel remorse when he kills again while out on bail….nope. Liberals never feel remorse for bad choices…

  3. mstarvin says:

    What a bad journalistic job regarding this article. The man was convicted of killing a police officer and this article never mentions what the actual evidence was that resulted in his conviction and how these “new” findings will change that evidence. It seems like they don’t want to release the facts because it will make the judge look bad and affect the public sympathy that may result from their allusion that this guy being innocent when in fact he is not.

    1. Janice says:

      Actually, the only evidence against Sean was that he was at the scene around the time that the murder happened…A fact that he volunteered to the corrupt officers when he was trying to offer help during the investigation into his cousin’s death. Do a little research so you don’t sound so ignorant.

      1. mstarvin says:

        Janice before you accuse someone of being ignorant please do your own homework…

        On September 30, 1993, the police questioned the defendant.   He told detectives that he had gone to the Walgreens at about 2:45 or 3 A.M. on September 26.   He acknowledged entering the Walgreens and purchasing diapers, and that he had used a public telephone, but denied any involvement in the murder.   Meanwhile, that same day, the defendant’s girl friend accompanied the defendant to an apartment where he retrieved a bag.   On returning to his girl friend’s apartment, the defendant removed two guns from the bag.   One of the guns was a black nine millimeter Glock handgun;  the other was a silver .25 caliber Raven handgun.   The next day (October 1, 1993), a friend of the defendant retrieved the guns from the girl friend’s apartment and hid them in a field.   On October 7, 1993, the police found the guns.   Subsequent investigation revealed that the nine millimeter Glock was the victim’s service weapon and the .25 caliber Raven handgun was the murder weapon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Boston

Download Our App

Listen Live