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Attempted murder charge dismissed against second man in Decatur shooting
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Attempted murder charge dismissed against second man in Decatur shooting

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DECATUR — A charge of attempted murder against a Decatur man was dismissed when prosecutors said the case collapsed after the victim recanted his statement.

Thomas U. Ellzey, 28, had pleaded not guilty to that charge plus aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm. His case was due for a pretrial hearing in Macon County Circuit Court on Thursday, but a court hearing on Jan. 7 saw all three counts dismissed “without prejudice,” which means they could be refiled.

The case dates to the afternoon of Aug. 7, 2017, when Ellzey, a sworn Decatur police affidavit said, was the passenger in a van that pulled up alongside a man riding a motorized scooter in the 700 block of West Decatur Street. Police said Ellzey, who had a long-running dispute with the scooter rider, opened fire with a handgun and shot the victim twice in the abdomen.

But the case against Ellzey was crippled, prosecutors said, when the victim suddenly rejected his earlier statement to police about how he came to be wounded.

“The victim recanted his statement and, without that, we had nothing to go on,” State’s Attorney Jay Scott said.

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The same charges were dismissed without prejudice in December against the man prosecutors said had been the van driver, Deantae M. Rice, 31, after the victim first changed his story.

Scott said at the time his office would try to proceed against Ellzey, but he said Monday that had not proven possible without the victim's statement.

“We looked for corroborating evidence but, when you end up not having any, you got nothing to go on,” he added.

Ellzey was represented by defense attorney Monroe McWard of Taylorville. A call seeking comment to his office was not immediately returned Monday afternoon.


2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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