What to Know
- Suffolk County DA John Pappas announced Monday that Sean Ellis would not be re-tried in Boston Police Det. John Mulligan's 1993 murder.
- Ellis was imprisoned for more than 22 years until the state SJC overturned his conviction, citing corruption of involved police detectives.
- Ellis says he plans to possibly return to school to pursue a degree as he moves forward with his life.
Sean Ellis is officially a free man after the murder charges against him were formally dropped Tuesday, one day after prosecutors announced they would not put Ellis on trial for a fourth time.
“It’s everything I expected and more,” Ellis said while standing with family at the courthouse Tuesday.
Ellis, 44, was facing a first degree murder charge for the 1993 killing of Boston police detective John Mulligan, a crime that he was convicted on after three trials. Ellis served more than 20 years in prison for the crime until a judge overturned the conviction and released him in 2015, ruling Ellis did not receive a fair trial.
“If there was any question about my exoneration, we would be heading to a fourth trial,” Ellis said.
But prosecutors had planned to re-try him next year, until they announced Monday they would dismiss the charges.
Prosecutors said it was not an easy decision and that while they’ve dismissed the charges, it’s not because Ellis is innocent, but because their case is no longer as strong.
Rosemary Scapicchio, long-time attorney for Ellis, criticized prosecutors for still presenting her client as guilty despite evidence that Boston police detectives who worked the case were later found guilty themselves of corruption.
“Their corrupt police officers that spearheaded this investigation steered it in the direction of Sean Ellis 25 years ago and now they can’t fix it,” Scapicchio said.
After all this time, Ellis says he’s no longer focused on the case or his conviction, but he is focused on his life out of the courtroom.
“I’m fortunate that I’m able to be able to see my mom at one point I had a fear that she would pass away while I was in prison and I don’t have to have that fear anymore,” he said.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Ellis says he plans to possibly return to school to pursue a degree and move forward with his life.