Cold case murder suspect's death ruled as natural death

By Heartland News
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau County Coroner says the death of a man suspected of a cold case murder in Cape Girardeau has been ruled as a natural death.
Max Ellison, 61, was suspected in the 1979 murder of Deborah Martin, a Cape Girardeau flower shop owner.
Ellison was pronounced dead Saturday afternoon at a local hospital.
Ellison was a former Stoddard County sheriff's deputy.  He had pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and armed robbery.
The case was moved to New Madrid County on a change of venue and Ellison was going to trial in March 2010.  He was arrested in April.
Cape County Coroner John Clifton made the rulling after reviewing the Cape Girardeau County Jail records, the medical records at the hospital and the preliminary autopsy report.  No further investigation is planned.
©2009 KFVS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.