Murder suspect dies awaiting trial

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KAIT) - A Region 8 man accused in a 30-year-old murder will not stand trial.

61-year-old Max Ellison died Saturday.

Ellison was a former Stoddard County Sheriff's deputy.

He was suspected in the 1979 murder of Deborah Martin of Cape Girardeau.

Prosecutors claimed they had a taped confession.

Earlier this year Ellison pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and armed robbery.

He was awaiting a March 2010 trial when he died Saturday in Cape Girardeau.

The coroner believes Ellison died of natural causes.

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