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May 22, 2022

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Ellis Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Caleb Ellis, 20

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said a Hayesville man admitted last week in Clay County Superior Court that three years ago he shot and killed Jordan Ramon Garcia, 20.Caleb Ellis, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The district attorney said she accepted his plea because of a constitutional issue that involved the defendant’s confession.Following his arrest, Ellis signed his confession; however, the officer mistakenly used an adult-waiver form and not the juvenile-waiver form that state law requires.

“The mixup was inadvertent, but it did factor into the decision to accept a second-degree murder plea,” Welch said. Clay County Sheriff’s Office learned on May 28, 2019, that Garcia was missing. A few days later, Garcia’s grandmother reported smelling an odor at her home in Hayesville. Law enforcement discovered Garcia’s dead body in a gully under metal roofing. 
It appeared Ellis had set fire to the body in a failed attempt to dispose of the evidence.In his confession, Ellis said he had been using methamphetamine. He claimed he shot Garcia because, in his drug-induced paranoia, he feared Garcia would shoot him.Garcia died from a gunshot to the base of his skull.
Chief Resident Superior Court Judge Bill Coward sentenced Ellis to serve a minimum sentence of 157 months in prison and a maximum of 201 months. He has 996 days in pretrial confinement.The judge also ordered the defendant to pay a total of $19,358 in attorneys fees and $3,948.80 in restitution. Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Harris prosecuted the case.

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