Newport man found guilty for 2016 murder

Newport man found guilty for 2016 murder

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - A Newport man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for his role in the 2016 murder of a Newport woman.

According to a news release sent to Region 8 News, a jury found 20-year-old Andwelle Sieed Ellis guilty of first-degree murder, committing terroristic acts and guilty of firearm enhancements.

Circuit Judge Harold Erwin sentenced Ellis to life in prison and an additional term of 68 years.

The charges stem from the April 2016 murder of Vanessa Thomas in Newport. Investigators said Ellis opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle on a car driven by Ruby Davis. Her daughter, Vanessa Thomas, was seated in the back seat and was fatally struck in the head. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later.

"This verdict proves that the community of Newport has gotten fed up with senseless gun violence," said Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District prosecuting attorney. "Obviously, the jury was impressed by our witnesses who I commend for their participation in taking this dangerous man off the street."

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