Last week, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center inmate Deandre Ellis, 29, was arraigned after the Trousdale County grand jury indicted him on charges of attempted first-degree murder and possession of contraband in a penal facility.
According to the indictment, Ellis, who is serving a 51-year sentence at the facility, was charged with the attempted first-degree murder of prison guard Demetrius Walker. Additionally, Ellis was charged with possessing a piece of rebar that was sharpened to a point and used as a weapon in the incident.
“In Mr. Deandre Ellis’ case, he was indicted for an event that took place on Sept. 24, 2022,” said 15th Judicial District Attorney General Jason Lawson. “The indictment says he did intentionally, and with premeditation, attempt to kill Demetrius Walker (who) was employed as a guard at the prison.
“Mr. Deandre Ellis is currently serving a sentence in the amount of 51 years for second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, tampering with evidence, a firearm in the possession of a felon, and for having cocaine.”
If convicted of the new charges, Ellis could be facing a significant amount of time added to his already lengthy prison sentence.
“Under the law of the state of Tennessee, attempted first-degree murder is a Class A felony, and it carries a sentence of 15 years to 25 years if the person is a range one offender,” said Lawson. “A range one offender means that they do not have prior felony convictions. Range two, would carry 25 to 40 years, and if you have more than five prior convictions, then you get into range three, where we are talking about 40 to 60 years.
“The indictment alleges that (Ellis) had a weapon, a Class C felony, which as a range one offender, that carries three to six years. As a range two, if he has prior felonies, which he does, it will carry six to 10 years. And as a range three, it would carry 10 to 15 years.”
At his arraignment, Ellis chose to hire an attorney rather than be appointed one by the court.
According to Lawson, in February, Ellis will be back in court with presiding judge 15th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Brody Kane.
“And at that point, the process will move forward,” said Lawson.