Ellis Selects Bench Trial In Infant Murder Case

By Benjamin Cox on July 10, 2020 at 6:11am

A 22 year old Alton woman will head to a bench trial in late August for allegedly murdering her 6 month old son. 22 year old Jamia H. Ellis was in Greene County Court yesterday and asked for a bench trial under counsel from her private attorney Michelle Berkel.

Ellis along with 35 year old Ryan Wheeler of Carrollton were charged in connection to the death of her 6-month-old son. The infant’s cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt-force trauma injuries. Ellis and Wheeler are charged with wrapping the body in a sheet and plastic trash bag. The body of the infant was later found to be buried on Wheeler Family property off of Cemetery Road south of Carrollton. Wheeler had charges of first degree murder added to his case on June 29th. He is set to stand trial by jury on July 13th.

Greene County States Attorney Caleb Briscoe says that Ellis was originally the only one charged with murder in the case based on the information that investigators had at the time. He could not divulge any information on the new evidence found to add the charges from the open case that now implicates Wheeler in the child’s death.

Briscoe says the case will see trial at the end of next month: “In talking with defense counsel, it sounded like we may be able to do the presentation of evidence over two days. Obviously, it could be longer than that, but we are hopeful that if we really put in two full days that we would be able done presenting evidence and hopefully have a resolution to this case.”

Briscoe says that he’s ready to try the case at the current time, but COVID-19 has backed up the court.

Greene County Circuit Judge James W Day has set the bench trial to be held starting at 9AM on August 31st with a probable end date set for September 2nd. Both Wheeler and Ellis remain lodged at the Greene County Jail.