Judge Orders 4th Trial For Man Convicted Of Boston Cop's 1993 Murder

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A Superior Court judge has granted a motion for a fourth trial for a man convicted of killing a Boston police detective in 1993.

Sean Ellis was convicted of first-degree murder in his third trial of the 1993 murder of Boston Police Det. John Mulligan, who was shot five times in the face as he sat in his car in Roslindale. The first two trials ended with hung juries.

Ellis has spent close to 22 years in prison. His lawyer talked about his reaction to the judge's decision.

"He walked into the visiting room, and I said 'Sean, we did it,' and he wept uncontrollably for a good 15 or 20 minutes," said defense attorney Rosemary Scapicchio.

In ordering the latest trial for Ellis, Judge Carol Ball has held that exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense. That includes a report that one Boston police officer had implicated another officer in the murder.

There is also newly discovered evidence since Ellis' last trial that the lead investigators in the Mulligan murder had been involved in criminal activity.

Scapicchio says the top priority now is getting Ellis out of prison.

"Now Sean is eligible for bail, and so we're hoping to get him a bail argument as soon as possible," she said. "And then the commonwealth will have to make a decision as to whether or not they're going to appeal Judge Ball's decision, and then they make an ultimate decision as to whether or not they want to retry Sean."

The Suffolk County district attorney's office says only that it strongly disagrees with the judge's ruling and is reviewing all its appellate options.

This segment aired on May 6, 2015.


Delores Handy Reporter
Delores Handy was formerly a host and reporter at WBUR.



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