Man gets 12 years in prison for cemetery hold-up

Victim: "Every step I took, I asked God, 'Please don't let him shoot me.'"
Cary Ashby
Jan 18, 2014


The victim of an Oct. 24 armed robbery said "there aren't any words to describe what it felt like."

The man said he felt terrified and helpless as defendant Garry D. Ellis Jr. pulled a gun on him and made him walk into a small shelter near a Hartland Township cemetery. The victim was doing some landscaping before Ellis approached him.

"Every step I took, I asked God, 'Please don't let him shoot me. Please don't let him shoot me,'" the victim said.

"All he had to do was ask for money. I would have given whatever he needed," said the man, who was willing to give Ellis a ride if that's what he wanted.

Ellis, 21, most recently of 1475 DeRussey Road, Collins, pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated robbery.

As part of a joint recommendation between the state and defense attorney Mike Jackson, Ellis was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He first must serve three years for the firearm specification, followed by nine years for the actual sentence.

In a plea deal, the state dismissed one count each of abduction, felonious assault, theft of a firearm, theft and tampering with evidence.

"The defendant decided he needed some money. ... He wanted drugs," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said.

Ellis told the victim he needed gas money, asked to use his cell phone and after "he dialed some non-existent numbers, (he) pulled out a gun," Leffler said.

The defendant ordered the victim to get into a small shelter before he drove off. Leffler said Ellis stole the man's pickup truck and lawnmower.

"He was chased back to his house. Police arrived," said Leffler, who credited Ellis with being cooperative with the Huron County Sheriff's Office. "He violated the trust of the family he was staying with."

Ellis' girlfriend, Shannon N. Roe, 27, of Wooster, goes to trial March 13 on obstructing justice on an allegation she lied about Ellis' whereabouts. If convicted, she faces nine months to three years in prison. Roe earlier posted a $10,000 bond.

"The firearm has been tested and it is operable," Leffler said about the gun, which investigators suspect was stolen.

Jackson said he and his client had a chance to talk a lot about what happened and the consequences if the gun accidentally fired.

"He has accepted the gravity of the situation," Jackson said. "He does have a child. He has a reason to get better while he is in prison."

"I'm sorry for what I did. I wasn't in the right state of mind," Ellis said as he faced Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

"I hope the victim will forgive me," he added quietly.

Citing Ellis' lengthy criminal record, which includes a robbery charge as a juvenile, Leffler said this isn't the defendant's "first rodeo."

Ellis faces five years of mandatory parole once he's released from prison.



He traumatized me daughter. He was chased into my yard at one point. The police were in my yard with their guns drawn, my little one was at the table eating and saw everything threw the window. Now she has night mares about "bad men with guns" and cries saying "Mommy, who is going to take care of me if the bad guys with guns hurt you?". I'd like to help him get in the "right state of mind".


Very unfortunate that your daughter saw all of this, but perhaps you could get a positive spin out of it. Focus on the "good guys" with guns that were there to protect you and her?


Agreed. You need to tell her that there was ONE bad man. The good guys with guns were there to get the bad man and protect you and her. The Police are the good guys.


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"He violated the trust of the family he was staying with." Really? So that is why they lied about him being there? Played dumb with the sheriff? His girlfriend is charged with obstruction. How did he "violate" them? They played along with him? They HID him!


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Ladydye he did violate there trust. Him and his girlfriend where staying with a family. They had no clue what was going on until police stormed the property. So maybe can you not talk about things you don't know just because one person in the house knew doesn't mean everyone knew. I backed you up in the last argument you had on here but now you are talking about stuff you don't know.


OK, so I do not know what the whole story is. But, it does still does not make sense. You mean to tell me when he came running in the house butt naked, out of breath, this family didn't question why?


Im impressed with this sentence, seeing how this is from Huron county..Conway must be reading some of his fan mail? =)


He was not freaking naked for gosh sake he was in a t shirt a shorts. And they did wonder what was up but they didn't know he came in and went straight up to his room. And it's a little hard for a man in a wheelchair to go up the steps and see what was going on. Or did you except him to crawl up them. So no you don't know the family and you don't know the whole story. The fact is I do they are my family and we were just as upset or even more because he took that crap back to my family. They are victims here too. They gave him a nice place to stay and this is how he repaid them they are good people trying to help family out. Have you never helped family and had it backfire in your face because that's what happened to them