Raemond Ellis avoided one murder conviction late Monday, but is guilty of two of four counts in connection with the June 19, 2004, robbery and killing of Pierre Nash at the French Quarter Apartments in Jeffersonville.

A Clark Circuit Court jury of 10 women and two men returned the verdicts Monday shortly after 9:30 p.m.

Ellis was charged with murder, felony murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and receiving stolen property in connection with the shooting death of Nash. The jury said Ellis was not guilty of the count of murder and declared they were hung on the count of felony murder — the most serious charges against him. He will be retried on the felony murder charge.

They found Ellis guilty of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury as a class A felony and of receiving stolen property as a class D felony. Ellis faces 20 to 50 years on his conviction in the robbery charge. The receiving stolen property count is a lesser included offense and will not add time to the sentence.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 19 following a pre-sentence investigation by the court’s probation office.

Judge Daniel F. Donahue set Jan. 10 as a retrial date on the felony murder charge, although that date is already set for the trial of Brian McGhee, the other man accused in the June 19 murder of Nash in a wooded area behind the French Quarter apartments.

Donahue said he was setting the trial date “just to get it on the calendar,” indicating that he expects the date to change.

The jury went into deliberation at 2:30 p.m. and returned its final verdict seven hours later after the judge called them into the courtroom around 9 p.m. to ask if they thought they could reach a final verdict. The jury had indicated in a note to the court they were in agreement on two counts but not on two others without indicating which counts they agreed upon.

At one point prior to the judge receiving the note, the court was advised that one of the jurors was physically ill over the stress of the deliberations.

At 9:32 p.m., the jury reported its verdict and the judge polled all jurors to ensure the accuracy of the verdict.

“I assume they believe the second shot was not intended to kill, but to injure (Nash). We gave them the theft (conviction.),” Defense attorney William Perry McCall said of the verdicts.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Grimes said he was disappointed but not surprised of the result of the trial.

“I’m never surprised by what a jury does,” Grimes said.

Prosecuting Attorney Steve Stewart said his team is looking forward to taking Ellis to a new trial on the felony murder count. He said he expects the court to leave Brian McGhee’s trial on the Jan. 10 date and reschedule Ellis’ trial.

The verdicts came late in the day after the defense presented testimony from only two witnesses. A third witness, Michael Mayes, failed to appear in court.

McCall opened with Nash’s best friend, Cary Barlow, who testified he had received a phone call from his friend that day, and that he expected Nash to meet one of his cousins at the Louisville Belvedere around 7 p.m.

The last witness for the stand was Ellis’ father Steve Ellis who told the court he raised Raemond as a single father in a family that included four sisters.

He described his son as a “good kid” and said he was “happy-go-lucky.”

Ellis was 17 at the time of the murder and was attending Jeffersonville High School where he played football.

“Rae was involved in sports since the fourth grade. I coached him some of the time,” his father said. “He might have been on track for an athletic scholarship.”

Steve Ellis said his son had no criminal record and had never been in trouble.

“He was the kind of kid every parent would be proud of,” he said.

In cross examination, Grimes said that Rae Ellis was carrying a gun, and tried to get his father to admit that he knew his son had a gun.

Mayes, who was scheduled as the third witness to testify today, never appeared in court. He would have testified about an incident several days before the murder when McGhee fired his .25 caliber pistol into his home to threaten him because he owed McGhee money.

Those casings from those bullets were later matched to a shell casing found at the murder scene, positively identifying McGhee’s gun as the murder weapon. A bag with guns belonging to McGhee and Ellis had been left at the home of McGhee’s girlfriend, Erica Lorenzo, but was later removed by McGhee and was never found.

After presentation of witnesses, the jury was taken by van to the scene of the crime and allowed to walk down the wooded path behind the apartments to the spot where Nash’s body was found.

The jury was also driven past McGhee’s apartment in the French Quarter Apartments, past Erica Lorenzo’s home at the time of the murder and past the church parking lot where Nash’s blue Mercedes was ultimately found.

A three-hour-and-nine-minute tape recording made when McGhee wore a “wire” for police and engaged Ellis in a conversation about the shooting was never introduced into evidence. Only about five minutes of the tape dealt with the conversation about the shooting, and police said the tape was of poor quality.

After hearing the section of the tape in which he purportedly admitted shooting Nash, Ellis changed his statement to police and admitted being at the scene when Nash was killed. Ellis asserted it was McGhee who did the shooting.

Starting his closing argument by turning to the flag in the courtroom, holding his hand over his heart and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Grimes stressed the final words of the pledge to the jury. “And justice for all,” Grimes stressed to the jury as he argued that the time had come for justice to be administered to Ellis.

Grimes told the 10 women and two men of the jury, “He (Nash) died for no reason at all. That’s the shocking part of all this.”

The defense had tried to paint Nash as a “dope fiend” and suggested the dealings with McGhee were drug related. However, Grimes stressed to the jury that there was never any testimony to indicate that Nash had ever been involved with drugs. An autopsy report showed caffeine to be the only drug in his system at the time he was killed.

Grimes spent much of his closing argument instructing the jury about the specific charges against Ellis. It is the felony murder charge, Grimes said, that is the most inclusive since it would make both McGhee and Ellis equally guilty by jointly being involved in the murder.

As Grimes explained it, even if Ellis had not shot McGhee, his act of removing a cell phone from his body after he was shot made his equally guilty of felony murder. The state contended throughout the trial that both men shot Nash to ensure neither could testify against the other.

McCall, in his closing argument, told the jury his client is guilty of receiving stolen property, and urged them to “convict him of what he’s guilty.”

He portrayed the incident as one in which Ellis acted stupidly.

“He should have picked up the phone and reported this,” McCall said.

Testimony said that Ellis also drove Nash’s car from the French Quarter Apartments to the parking lot of Cook Memorial Church, but McCall argued, “There’s no evidence to show that Rae was aware the car belonged to Nash.”

McCall told the jury the cell phone, cash and the car were all “afterthoughts” and said “There’s all kinds of stuff that doesn’t lend itself to this being a robbery.”

The defense argument that there was no robbery was critical to their case of trying to show that Ellis did nothing after the murder was committed in furtherance of the crime.

The defense lawyer told the jury, “punish him for what he did, not what he didn’t do.”

In his final closing argument to the jury, Grimes implored of the jurors, “If you can’t find robbery in this, I don’t know where you can. The man was shot in front of him (Ellis) and he immediately goes over and takes his cell phone. If that’s not robbery, please tell me in big letters so I can stop prosecuting these people.”

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