Nebraska Supreme Court denies appeal of death row inmate

Prison Bars

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Nebraska Supreme Court denied the post-conviction appeal of a death row inmate on Friday who said his defense attorney was so inept that his right to a fair trial had been compromised.

Roy Ellis Jr., 68, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the 2005 killing of 12-year-old Amber Harris.

SEE ALSO: Roy Ellis Sentenced To Death

Amber’s remains were found buried in an Omaha park six months after she went missing from an Omaha school bus stop.

SEE ALSO: Missing Child Human Remains Found

According to an autopsy, she died of blunt force trauma.  DNA found on her book bag near Ellis’ home connected him to the crime.

At the time, Ellis was a registered sex offender who was known to have raped children and was categorized by authorities as most likely to reoffend.

During the 2008 trial, prosecutors presented evidence indicating that Harris had likely sexually assaulted the girl before killing her.

Ellis’ former stepdaughters took the stand to testify that he repeatedly raped them when they were ages 14 and 12 and fathered a child with each of them.

The court rejected Ellis’ appeal that his former stepdaughters’ testimony should not have been allowed.

Ellis also argued that his lawyer failed to effectively challenge prosecutors’ DNA evidence.

In its ruling, the state’s high court said Ellis’ argument was without merit.

Categories: Nebraska News, News