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Ellzey Rice

Thomas U. Ellzey, left, and Deantae M. Rice

DECATUR — A charge of attempted murder against Deantae M. Rice has been dismissed after prosecutors said the victim changed his story, crippling the state's case.

A pretrial hearing had been set for Thursday, but the charge was dropped at a Macon County Circuit Court hearing Dec. 17. Further charges of aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle were also dismissed.

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Rice, 31, of Decatur, was accused of being the driver of an SUV that pulled up next a man who was riding a motorized scooter in the 700 block of West Decatur Street on the afternoon of Aug. 7, 2017. A sworn Decatur police statement said a passenger in the vehicle, Thomas U. Ellzey, fired multiple shots with a handgun, hitting the victim in the abdomen twice.

State’s Attorney Jay Scott said Thursday the case against Ellzey, 27, was now “under review” in the light of the changing stories from the victim.

“The victim had met with our investigator and an assistant state’s attorney and gave a third version of events in which he said he did not know who shot him,” Scott said. “Basically, the whole case falls apart.”

Testifying at an earlier hearing, Decatur police officer James Knierim said the victim and Ellzey had previously been involved in violent disputes.

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“The victim knows Thomas because he was accused of shooting at Thomas in 2015," Knierim said.

Ellzey has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle. Ellzey is due for a pretrial hearing Jan. 24, and Scott said he is not ready to drop the case against him just yet.

“We will have to look and see if there is any way we can prove it without his testimony,” Scott said.

2018 mug shots from the Herald & Review

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


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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