By Rosemary K. Otzman
The final defendant in the Denton 2011-12 subdivision home invasions has been sentenced and the case is finally closed.
On April 1, Javon Franklin Ellis was sentenced to 220 months (more than 18 years) in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood. His sentencing had been postponed from the Dec. 19, March 4 and March 25 dates previously set.
Van Buren Township Police Lt. Charles Bazzy said Thomas Johnson never would take responsibility for the home invasions, but the fact that they abruptly stopped once he was in custody speaks for itself.
“I have to give special thanks to Special Agent Jason Cox from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Hays,” said Lt. Bazzy. “They did a fantastic job seeing that three career criminals were brought to justice in this case.”
Lt. Bazzy said Ellis refused a plea agreement and demanded a trial in federal court. A jury trial began on Aug. 19, before Judge Hood in Detroit.
On Aug. 22, the case went to the jury. The jury deliberated for about 1½ hours before returning with a guilty verdict on all counts: felon in possession of a firearm, armed career criminal, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Ellis was the person who was accused of buying a Colt .45 with laser sight after it was stolen in Van Buren Township Jan. 27, 2012.
Ellis was in the company of two other felons when he was arrested July 2, 2012 by Eastern Michigan University Police on charges of possession of marijuana and possession of the stolen handgun.
The felons with Ellis were Thomas Michael Johnson, 52, and Sheldon Willie-Earl Brummette, 28, both of whom accepted felony plea agreements for possession of a firearm. Johnson was sentenced to 120 months (10 years) in federal prison and Brummette was sentenced to 108 months (nine years).
The handgun Ellis had was stolen during the series of break-ins in the Denton neighborhood of Van Buren Township during the winter of 2011-12.
Lt. Bazzy said even after Ellis’ face was recognized from a surveillance camera set up by police that recorded a break-in, and his subsequent conviction by a jury, Ellis maintains his innocence.
By Rosemary K. Otzman