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Special to The Sun—
WELLINGTON – A Wellington man has been sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of two separate offenses – second degree felony assault, family violence and third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.
Justin Dale Ellis, 38, was originally arrested in March 2019 by Collingsworth County deputies for the two offenses that took place March 6, 2019 and March 7, 2019.
Luke Inman, the District Attorney for the 100th Judicial District, along with Assistant District Attorney Harley Caudle, prosecuted the case for the State of Texas with the Honorable Judge Stuart Messer presiding.
Ellis was originally placed on community supervision, four years’ deferred adjudication, when he pleaded guilty to both offenses on April 12, 2019.
On Jan. 29, 2020, the State filed its motions to adjudicate each case alleging Ellis violated his community supervision on five counts. Ellis pleaded true to all of the allegations.
During the hearing, the State called two witnesses, Mark White and Chris Stone.
White, the probation officer responsible for Ellis while on probation, testified regarding Ellis’ failure to abide by certain conditions of his probation. Stone, the former Collingsworth County Deputy who arrested Ellis on both charges, testified regarding the nature of Ellis’ assault family violence enhanced charge.
After hearing the evidence in the family violence case, Messer found Ellis violated the terms of his community supervision and convicted him of the second-degree felony offense of assault family violence by impeding breathing, enhanced and sentenced him to 16 years in prison.
The process was repeated for the second case, in which Messer convicted Ellis of third-degree felony offense of possession of a controlled substance in penalty group one, methamphetamine, enhanced and sentenced him to seven years in prison.
Messer ordered Ellis’ sentences run consecutively in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ.
“I hope that word is getting out amongst the criminals in our district that consecutive sentences are now standard procedure around here,” Caudle said immediately following the second hearing. “If they refuse to either straighten up or leave our community, the same fate as this defendant awaits them.”
In addition to the prison sentences, Ellis was ordered to pay a total of $500 in fines to Collingsworth County, $762 in court costs and $180 in restitution.