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Old 06-14-2004, 10:38 AM
DeniseJJ DeniseJJ is offline
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Post Families square off in parole case

Monday, June 14, 2004

CARLA CROWDER

News staff writer

The first thing, the most important thing, Dale Ellison wants the four victims' families to know is that he's truly sorry for their loss.

The second, and something he's waited seven years to speak publicly about, is that his son Michael was not involved in their deaths.

"Michael and our family send our deepest condolences to the families involved, but Michael at no time planned any murder, or took the life of anyone," Ellison said. "Michael is, and was, a good kid."


This is the message Ellison hopes to convey to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles today, at what promises to be an emotional, divisive hearing.

His son Michael Ellison and his friend David Collums are up for parole after seven years in prison.

The young men were teens when they pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting killers Mark Duke and Brandon Samra, and hindering prosecution by helping hide evidence. Duke and Samra are now on Death Row for the 1997 slayings in Pelham of Randy Duke, his live-in girlfriend Dedra Mims Hunt, and her daughters Chelsea and Chelisa.

The girls were 6 and 7, and the gruesome slayings stunned ShelbyCounty. Authorities initially responded by charging Duke, Samra, Ellison and Collums with four counts each of capital murder.

Later, the investigation revealed that Duke had been angry and disturbed for a long time, bent on killing his father and destroying their household. He was a leader among this foursome long before the killings, authorities say.

Ellison and Collums were not present for the killings, nor did they know beforehand about their friend's plans. "This is the reason why it went from four capital murder charges to one 16-year sentence," Dale Ellison said.

Plea approved:

Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens approved the plea. He has never been known to be gentle with criminals.

"The basis, the underlying cause for having them plea, was we could not tie them to anything sufficient before the fact," Owens said.

Although Ellison, 16 at the time, and Collums, then 17, heard Duke say he was going to kill his father, "He did that at school. He did that at the malls. He did that in front of his girlfriend. He did that in front of his boy friends. He did that in front of anybody he'd ever known," Owens said.

Ellison and Collums agreed to help prosecutors by testifying against Duke, if needed.

Owens also went to bat for them, helping them get placed at Ventress Correctional Facility. The Clayton lockup has more programs and a little nicer environment than most Alabama prisons.

And Owens agreed not to fight their parole.

But many people are.

Relatives of Hunt and the girls launched a petition drive and gathered 6,000 signatures.

Tara Jewell of Thorsby, the girls' aunt, said she believes Ellison and Collums could have stopped the violence by calling 911. Duke and Samra had been in Ellison's truck just before the slayings, and Ellison and Collums heard Duke's threats, she said.

The foursome also met up after the incident to see a movie.

"They did not cut the throats. They did not pull the trigger. But while they were riding around that block ... they could have notified authorities," Jewell said. Her brother, the girls' father, is living out of the country and will not attend the hearing.

Dedra Hunt's sister Kendra Hayes also is fighting parole. "They had every opportunity to stop what happened. And even after it was over they could have anonymously called someone, and let them know my family was laying dead in a house for over 24 hours," she said.

As always, there are two sides to this story. And Dale Ellison sees things differently.

Driven by fear:

Ellison, 42, is weathered beyond his years. His son's troubles have aged him, angered him, taught him harsh truths about the criminal justice system.

"There's a lot more to this than what's been laid out there. We have not been able to speak for seven years, and now is our time. After taking a bashing in such a one-sided thing, it's time that the people know," he said.

Ellison, who works as a contractor, gave the boys work. He spent the day of the killings with them on a job, and they returned to his home afterward. He persuaded his son to talk to police. And he found evidence, a gun, some clothes, from his own yard and turned it over to investigators. Prosecutors never called him to testify against the killers, but he was willing.

He says his son's mistakes were spurred by fear of Duke.

"Duke proved to them what he would do, and he had threatened them from day one, from the beginning. And he told my son that `If you say anything, your little brother that's laying in the next room, eight years old? I'll start with him,'" Ellison said. "Michael didn't know what to do. He was scared to death."

Here is Dale Ellison's account of the events surrounding the slayings:

He and Michael planned to attend an auto auction that night to sell Michael's overheating truck. But Michael's grandmother, who owned the truck and needed to attend the auction, had an allergy attack. They canceled the plans at the last minute, and the boys decided to go to a movie. "This was like a split-minute decision. This is like 8:30 at night," Ellison said.

Michael Ellison, driving the foursome, drops Samra and Duke off at Duke's house to shower, and to borrow his father's truck to meet them at the theater. Collums and Ellison go to a local teen hangout.

But Duke's father refuses to lend his truck.

Duke goes to his room, smokes cigarettes and seethes. He asks for the truck again, and he and is father start fighting. Samra later told them that "Mark snapped, he was like a madman," Dale Ellison said. The adults were shot and stabbed, and the girls' throats were cut.

Duke and Samra left on foot, and Ellison picked them up for the movie. Duke told them what he'd done, but they didn't believe him. "Mark was very well-known for not telling all the truth," Dale Ellison said.

Later that night, Duke insisted they ride by his father's house on Chandawood Drive. Lights were on. The television was on. The door was ajar.

"Michael said everything appeared to be normal," Ellison said. "No crime scene tape or any of what he was expecting to see if in fact this was true, what they said."

Not until the next afternoon did they go inside the Duke house. They saw the body of Randy Duke, and knew Mark Duke's story was true.

Destruction of evidence:

Ellison and Collums did not know about the little girls' existence. The children lived with their father in Thorsby most of the time. Because of that, the aiding and abetting conviction is connected to the adults' deaths only. The charge of hindering prosecution is connected with the destruction of evidence. The teenager who provided the guns to Duke received a short sentence in a juvenile facility.

Collums' parents died while he was in prison. His relatives declined to be interviewed.

Dale Ellison said he's been visiting his son as often as is allowed, twice a month, at Ventress. He's proud of his son's progress, earning a high school equivalency diploma and graduating from numerous rehabilitation programs.

"He's done everything the state has asked him to do," Ellison said.

The men have been disciplined twice: Ellison for getting caught with unauthorized shaving cream and failing to obey an order; Collums for having a packet of oatmeal, and skipping a program.

Dale Ellison is hopeful the parole board will see past the 6,000 signatures to his son's accomplishments.

And the family has at least one influential voice on their side: Michael Ellison's attorney.

Charles Crowder, a retired Jefferson County Circuit Court judge with 18 years on the bench, agreed to defend him and supports his parole.

"If I thought that he was the driver of a getaway car, or that he aided or pulled a quadruple murder or any murder, I would not have represented him," Crowder said. "I would be on the side of the people protesting. However, I do not believe that he knew anyone was going to be killed."

The ex-judge, who sent numerous killers to Alabama's Death Row, said Michael Ellison, "made very serious mistakes and bad choices, for which he is paying a grievous penalty."

But he also helped police, while others refused.

"He, with his father, came while the others were remaining silent; he told police exactly what happened."



This is the message Ellison hopes to convey to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles today, at what promises to be an emotional, divisive hearing.

His son Michael Ellison and his friend David Collums are up for parole after seven years in prison.

The young men were teens when they pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting killers Mark Duke and Brandon Samra, and hindering prosecution by helping hide evidence. Duke and Samra are now on Death Row for the 1997 slayings in Pelham of Randy Duke, his live-in girlfriend Dedra Mims Hunt, and her daughters Chelsea and Chelisa.

The girls were 6 and 7, and the gruesome slayings stunned ShelbyCounty. Authorities initially responded by charging Duke, Samra, Ellison and Collums with four counts each of capital murder.

Later, the investigation revealed that Duke had been angry and disturbed for a long time, bent on killing his father and destroying their household. He was a leader among this foursome long before the killings, authorities say.

Ellison and Collums were not present for the killings, nor did they know beforehand about their friend's plans. "This is the reason why it went from four capital murder charges to one 16-year sentence," Dale Ellison said.

Plea approved:

Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens approved the plea. He has never been known to be gentle with criminals.

"The basis, the underlying cause for having them plea, was we could not tie them to anything sufficient before the fact," Owens said.

Although Ellison, 16 at the time, and Collums, then 17, heard Duke say he was going to kill his father, "He did that at school. He did that at the malls. He did that in front of his girlfriend. He did that in front of his boy friends. He did that in front of anybody he'd ever known," Owens said.

Ellison and Collums agreed to help prosecutors by testifying against Duke, if needed.

Owens also went to bat for them, helping them get placed at Ventress Correctional Facility. The Clayton lockup has more programs and a little nicer environment than most Alabama prisons.

And Owens agreed not to fight their parole.

But many people are.

Relatives of Hunt and the girls launched a petition drive and gathered 6,000 signatures.

Tara Jewell of Thorsby, the girls' aunt, said she believes Ellison and Collums could have stopped the violence by calling 911. Duke and Samra had been in Ellison's truck just before the slayings, and Ellison and Collums heard Duke's threats, she said.

The foursome also met up after the incident to see a movie.

"They did not cut the throats. They did not pull the trigger. But while they were riding around that block ... they could have notified authorities," Jewell said. Her brother, the girls' father, is living out of the country and will not attend the hearing.

Dedra Hunt's sister Kendra Hayes also is fighting parole. "They had every opportunity to stop what happened. And even after it was over they could have anonymously called someone, and let them know my family was laying dead in a house for over 24 hours," she said.

As always, there are two sides to this story. And Dale Ellison sees things differently.

Driven by fear:

Ellison, 42, is weathered beyond his years. His son's troubles have aged him, angered him, taught him harsh truths about the criminal justice system.

"There's a lot more to this than what's been laid out there. We have not been able to speak for seven years, and now is our time. After taking a bashing in such a one-sided thing, it's time that the people know," he said.

Ellison, who works as a contractor, gave the boys work. He spent the day of the killings with them on a job, and they returned to his home afterward. He persuaded his son to talk to police. And he found evidence, a gun, some clothes, from his own yard and turned it over to investigators. Prosecutors never called him to testify against the killers, but he was willing.

He says his son's mistakes were spurred by fear of Duke.

"Duke proved to them what he would do, and he had threatened them from day one, from the beginning. And he told my son that `If you say anything, your little brother that's laying in the next room, eight years old? I'll start with him,'" Ellison said. "Michael didn't know what to do. He was scared to death."

Here is Dale Ellison's account of the events surrounding the slayings:

He and Michael planned to attend an auto auction that night to sell Michael's overheating truck. But Michael's grandmother, who owned the truck and needed to attend the auction, had an allergy attack. They canceled the plans at the last minute, and the boys decided to go to a movie. "This was like a split-minute decision. This is like 8:30 at night," Ellison said.

Michael Ellison, driving the foursome, drops Samra and Duke off at Duke's house to shower, and to borrow his father's truck to meet them at the theater. Collums and Ellison go to a local teen hangout.

But Duke's father refuses to lend his truck.

Duke goes to his room, smokes cigarettes and seethes. He asks for the truck again, and he and is father start fighting. Samra later told them that "Mark snapped, he was like a madman," Dale Ellison said. The adults were shot and stabbed, and the girls' throats were cut.

Duke and Samra left on foot, and Ellison picked them up for the movie. Duke told them what he'd done, but they didn't believe him. "Mark was very well-known for not telling all the truth," Dale Ellison said.

Later that night, Duke insisted they ride by his father's house on Chandawood Drive. Lights were on. The television was on. The door was ajar.

"Michael said everything appeared to be normal," Ellison said. "No crime scene tape or any of what he was expecting to see if in fact this was true, what they said."

Not until the next afternoon did they go inside the Duke house. They saw the body of Randy Duke, and knew Mark Duke's story was true.

Destruction of evidence:

Ellison and Collums did not know about the little girls' existence. The children lived with their father in Thorsby most of the time. Because of that, the aiding and abetting conviction is connected to the adults' deaths only. The charge of hindering prosecution is connected with the destruction of evidence. The teenager who provided the guns to Duke received a short sentence in a juvenile facility.

Collums' parents died while he was in prison. His relatives declined to be interviewed.

Dale Ellison said he's been visiting his son as often as is allowed, twice a month, at Ventress. He's proud of his son's progress, earning a high school equivalency diploma and graduating from numerous rehabilitation programs.

"He's done everything the state has asked him to do," Ellison said.

The men have been disciplined twice: Ellison for getting caught with unauthorized shaving cream and failing to obey an order; Collums for having a packet of oatmeal, and skipping a program.

Dale Ellison is hopeful the parole board will see past the 6,000 signatures to his son's accomplishments.

And the family has at least one influential voice on their side: Michael Ellison's attorney.

Charles Crowder, a retired Jefferson County Circuit Court judge with 18 years on the bench, agreed to defend him and supports his parole.

"If I thought that he was the driver of a getaway car, or that he aided or pulled a quadruple murder or any murder, I would not have represented him," Crowder said. "I would be on the side of the people protesting. However, I do not believe that he knew anyone was going to be killed."

The ex-judge, who sent numerous killers to Alabama's Death Row, said Michael Ellison, "made very serious mistakes and bad choices, for which he is paying a grievous penalty."

But he also helped police, while others refused.

"He, with his father, came while the others were remaining silent; he told police exactly what happened."




Last edited by DeniseJJ; 06-14-2004 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 06-14-2004, 02:29 PM
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there's no way he's going to get it.. i just dont see it happenning with the current PB

his ais is 203434... im in canada right now and the 1-800 number doesnt work from here.. does anyone know if he made it?
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Old 06-14-2004, 03:17 PM
DeniseJJ DeniseJJ is offline
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I've been reading about this case all day....I believe the Ellison boy just might have a chance...

I wonder if with all this media if they will parole him....?
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Old 06-14-2004, 05:54 PM
lisalisa135549 lisalisa135549 is offline
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I saw on the news here where they both were denied parole, one of them comes back up in a year next june and I believe they sid the other in 4 years if I heard right. There were alot of people there against it from what I saw. lisa!
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:14 AM
DeniseJJ DeniseJJ is offline
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Post Parole denied in Shelby slayings

Parole denied in Shelby slayings

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

CARLA CROWDER

News staff writer

MONTGOMERY - Doubts and confusion about the exact role that Michael Ellison played in the 1997 slayings of a Pelham family led the parole board Monday to deny his release from prison, but allow another hearing next year.

David Collums, imprisoned under similar circumstances, also was denied but will not have another chance at parole until 2009.

Both were teens when they and their friends Mark Duke and Brandon Samra were charged with capital murder in the Pelham killings of Duke's father, Randy Duke, his girlfriend, Dedra Hunt, and her two young daughters.


Later, investigation revealed that Ellison and Collums were not present for the killings. They entered best-interest pleas to reduced charges of aiding and abetting the killers and hindering prosecution, and were sentenced to 16 years. Duke and Samra are on Death Row.

This was Ellison's and Collums' first chance at parole.

A big difference in the two hearings - Collums' parents and his attorney throughout the case are all dead. His brother and stepmother were the ones speaking on his behalf, and his hearing was much briefer. Ellison was represented by attorney and former Jefferson County Circuit Judge Charles Crowder, along with Shelby County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer John Miller. His father, Dale Ellison, also spoke on his behalf.

The hearing room was standing room only. Pelham police, representatives of the Alabama Attorney General's office, victims advocates and members of the victims' families protested parole.

Pelham Police Chief Allan Wade tried to get board members to look at crime scene photos in his attempt to sway them. They declined.

The often emotional testimony focused heavily on Chelsea, 7, and Chelisa, 6. "Try to imagine the horror these babies experienced during the final moments of their lives," Wade said.

Families wore buttons imprinted with the girls' faces, and talked about missed holidays and birthdays. The girls lived with their father in Thorsby, and visited their mother every other weekend at her live-in boyfriend's house, where the killings occurred.

Court records show Ellison and Collums did not know the girls were in the house. Police insisted the two helped plan the crime. Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens has said he could not prove that. He was not at the hearing, and agreed not to protest parole.

Board members had numerous questions about Ellison's prior knowledge.

Reading from the court transcript, Crowder said, "Mr. Ellison steadfastly has maintained throughout that he did not know and did not act prior to the deaths to facilitate anyone's death," Crowder said. "He didn't ever know there were two children in the house."

Wade and Pelham Police Capt. Tommy Thomas insisted the men knew about Duke's plans and could have stopped him.

"The pre-sentence report says to the contrary," said Parole Board Member Jennifer Garrett, pointing to an investigation conducted by a parole officer, which found Ellison had no prior knowledge.

"There were a lot of general conclusions that were stated by both sides. It would do the parties in both sides well if they were able to present more specific information in a year," Garrett said, after the decision was announced.

She said the board felt it needed more information about the facts of the case because neither teen was tried. Their best-interest pleas were not admissions of guilt.

Collums' brother, William Collums of Knoxville, asked the board to parole his brother because he wants him to be an active uncle to his two young children.

A representative of Attorney General Troy King said King protested the paroles. "The defendants in this case are not due any mercy," said Deputy Attorney General William Dill.

Also speaking to keep the men locked up was Randy Duke's brother, David Duke. Both men worked as corrections officers in Alabama prisons. He said the teens would not come out of prison better people. "If they didn't have compassion before the crime, they're certainly not going to learn any in there," David Duke said.

People on the other side of the room saw things differently.

Miller, who is also director of the ShelbyCounty juvenile detention center, visited frequently with Ellison while he was locked up there.

"Michael is a kind and compassionate person and in my opinion would never intentionally hurt anyone," said Miller.

Miller explained that the reason Ellison didn't immediately report the crimes, part of what led to charges, was loyalty to the killers, his friends.

"There is nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration," Miller said.



</SPAN>

Last edited by DeniseJJ; 06-15-2004 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:47 PM
fkel99 fkel99 is offline
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im very confused. ive been reading mark dukes diarys' and its hard to fathom what hes done, although i knoe that the words and actions speak for themselves. I received a letter from him and was going to write back, but i dont know if i can anymore. its such a hard decision
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:10 AM
amberschroyer1 amberschroyer1 is offline
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Arrow There are two sides to every story...

I was best friends with David for 5 years before the murders and knew Michael well, as well as dating Mark Duke for a short time. Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the murders. I have to tell you, pain is not excluive to the families of the victims. Not a day goes by that I don't pray for all of these boys, but especially for David and Michael. They would never have hurt anyone, and no one deserves to be free more. They were children at the time, terrified of someone who they thought was a friend. The papers portrayed these boys as thugs, members of some terrible gang. They were no such thing! They were sweet, caring boys. David's favorite meal was my mom's chicken and dumplings. I cried with him when his mom passed away of unknown causes. I watched my friend Roxi date Michael for a while, and then stay friends. These boys got in trouble within the system for having oatmeal? This is ridiculous! They both have served more than enough time for their mistake of not standing up and calling it in once they knew wht had happened, but what kind of protection would they have recieved? What guaruntee did they have that Mark and Brandon would not just kill them too? The parole board needs to pay more attention to the facts and less attention to the emotional family members of the victims. We all grieved for these victims of a particlarly heinous crime within our community, but these boys have more than attoned for their sins. David...remember, there are people who still care for you out here! Also in reading the above posts I have another point to make. It was my understanding at the time of the murders that the girls were already supposed to have left to return to their father (it was a sunday night) and Mark also did not know that the girls were in there until it was too late. This is what I heard directly from Mark and what David told me he said. Just sharing my point of view...

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Old 03-29-2007, 02:01 PM
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Exclamation The other side of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amberschroyer1
I was best friends with David for 5 years before the murders and knew Michael well, as well as dating Mark Duke for a short time. Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the murders.
Glad you remembered, it's a day we will NEVER forget.
I have to tell you, pain is not excluive to the families of the victims.
I will agree with you there and have said that myself. Their pain is not worse by any means because they can still touch & talk to their loved ones but their pain is real. We cannot help the decisions our children make so it definately is NOT their families fault.
Not a day goes by that I don't pray for all of these boys, but especially for David and Michael. They would never have hurt anyone, and no one deserves to be free more. They were children at the time, terrified of someone who they thought was a friend. The papers portrayed these boys as thugs, members of some terrible gang. They were no such thing! They were sweet, caring boys. David's favorite meal was my mom's chicken and dumplings. I cried with him when his mom passed away of unknown causes. I watched my friend Roxi date Michael for a while, and then stay friends. These boys got in trouble within the system for having oatmeal? This is ridiculous! They both have served more than enough time for their mistake of not standing up and calling it in once they knew wht had happened, but what kind of protection would they have recieved? What guaruntee did they have that Mark and Brandon would not just kill them too? The parole board needs to pay more attention to the facts and less attention to the emotional family members of the victims.
While they listen to both sides they base their DECISION on fact or at least in this case they did. Their families are emotional as they speak through their pain. If you have never had to relive the emotional battle of losing a child this way you have NO clue to what it is like to stand before those people. It is VERY hard to stand up WITHOUT being emotional and explain to them what the victims have been cheated of and ask for the FULL sentence to be served.
We all grieved for these victims of a particlarly heinous crime within our community, but these boys have more than attoned for their sins.
They did not pull the trigger but they helped to get the weapons, drove the get away car and should they be on death row NO but 16 years for what they did is a justified sentence. They helped to take a LIFETIME away from Chelsea & Chelisa. Chelsea & Chelisa's sentence was LONGER than 16 years. I have a family member in prison serving LONGER than 16 years for drugs and no one was harmed except himself and his family. Michael & David will be FREE one day they ARE coming home one day. Chelsea & Chelisa are NEVER coming home. I have spoke with all of those boys families just so you know.
David...remember, there are people who still care for you out here! Also in reading the above posts I have another point to make. It was my understanding at the time of the murders that the girls were already supposed to have left to return to their father (it was a sunday night)
GET YOUR FACTS straight before you post otherwise you don't look like you know what your talking about. CHECK the tombstone and the date in 1997 March 22nd was on a SATURDAY. They were killed on Saturday and afterwards the four went to a movie for an alibi. THe victims were FOUND on Sunday March 23, 1997. We had been calling all day on Sunday until finally we just went over there to find that the 911 call had been made 10 minutes earlier. Tommy (the girls father) always picked them up on SUNDAY NIGHT. So NO they were not to be picked up until SUNDAY night and they were already dead for 24 hours by then.
and Mark also did not know that the girls were in there until it was too late.
HMMM, so he didn't notice the girls when he went there earlier in the day? Samra said that Mark & Randy got into a fight earlier in the day, they went back to Michael Ellison's home planned the murder and the question was asked what about the little girls? Mark Duke said, and I QUOTE; "We cannot leave any witnesses" This is what supposedly bothered Michael Ellison the most.
This is what I heard directly from Mark and what David told me he said. Just sharing my point of view...
Well they lied to you, David, Michael & Samra told that they knew the children where there but really didn't think DUKE was serious they thought he was just talking. I wouldn't think if that was a lie 3 of the 4 stories would match.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:42 PM
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Blueyez94 Blueyez94 is offline
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:45 AM
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Thanks Blueyez94, because what I just read was very distrubing to me. I could have just closed-out and not read anymore, but the human instint of question took over and I read and read and became very sad for both sides. But the debate got next to me when I could feel the hurt from both parties. Something that none of us involved in the prison system needs.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:15 PM
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Amber, please send me a private message, I need to talk to you. These posts are so sad! To the Hunt family: no words can describe how broken my heart is for you. I've lost a son and a husband. I still can't imagine the pain of loosing a family the way you did. I pray that God sends you all of the special memories you'll ever need to stay strong. I'm so completely sorry that you have to endure this. From looking at the picture on the avatar...beautiful girls! I smile seeing their happy faces and then tears run down my cheeks. Beautiful girls! God bless. I honestly think about you everyday and your in my prayers everynight.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:37 AM
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Default Just my thoughts

First of all my name is Tanner Ellison I am 19 years old and the brother of Michael Ellison. I was just looking up random things about this case involving my brother and just happen to stumble up on something that really bothered me and I thought I have to voice my opion on. Reading that reply to the girl talking about knowing my brother and dating mark duke outrages me. I have been to every one of my brother's parole hearings and had to bite my tounge everytime i go. Yes i cannot argue with the simple fact that it happened but people im not stupid i have done my share of homework so dont dare test my credintials because for that i can assure you that i am very strong on. My brother has been denied parole twice all because of the same thing....... hurt people that get up on the stand and use the only crutch they have and that is the little girls. I personally am 19 years old 3 years older than my brother was. at the time i was 8 years old and thought my brother was a god. I understand the fact that the girls died and didnt have to but there was nothing that could have happened to stop mark duke, he was hellbent on killing that family and there was noone who could have stopped an enraged teen with a .45 im sry. i have done my homework on this and i ran across a quote that sent cold chills down my spine and that quote was from my father talking about how mark was gonna kill my family STARTING WITH ME AND MAKE HIM WATCH! what in the hell do u think u would do if someone told u that after murding his family. i am 19 years old graduated with honors from my highschool in college a mature young man who had to grow up way to fast and im here to tell u that i would have done the same damn thing. see i think a little fact that not everyone seems to OVERLOOK is ME. the girls died when they didnt have to,right, ok well their family will suffer from that loss forever and i feel for them and my 8 year old little prayers went out to them every night correct but what about me. growing up a baseball star in pelham making all stars evey year in baseball having my name on records as one of the only kids in my age group to ever throw a NO HITTER in a district championchip to have to goto school to hear all of my peers saying...,.. hey tanner i heard that ur brother killed a family haha thats funny. and to also to have teachers judge me from what happened to my brother and tell me that im going to grow up a loser just like my brother. having all my friends taken away from me cause their parents didnt want their son around a MURDERER'S BROTHER yeah i think that people need to realize who went through the brunt of all criticism. and look at me im a sucessfull young man on my way to doing great things with my HONORS DEGREE and the emotinal STRENGTH to overcome all obsticles and still make something of my like and defend my INNOCENT brother i think if a CHILD can do that then grown parents that only have to deal with people saying sorry for ur loss insead of hey ur brother killed a family thats funny can grow up and get over the fact of the girls and let my brother out on parole just so i can salvage whats left of my childhood. thankyou for reading and thats all i have to say about that.

1/19/2008 4:36AM
Joshua Tanner Ellison
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:20 AM
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Oh sweetie...thank you for sharing. I am very proud of you for continuing to do so well in your life (excelling in your education & sports)...especially under the circumstances. Too often people forget there are many victims left to survive after a violent crime. It effects all the family members (from all sides)...especially the children. It's extremely difficult (& unfair) to have to live in the shadow of what someone else has done...have people "judge" you for something you had nothing to do with. Just for loving your brother. You hold your head up & continue to make the most of your life. Lead by example. The love for your brother is admirable. Also, forgiveness is so important. Not always easy to do....but will help to ease the pain. Resentment, blame, anger (although understandable) will only confine you. This burden is not yours to carry. You don't have to carry the weight for what others have done. I wish you the very best.

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Old 03-20-2008, 03:29 PM
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Tanner...what the hell are you talking about???? "Getting on the stand and using the girls as a crutch"???? Are you talking about the victims family??? Really???? I get that you had a hard life after the crime but uh, watch your mouth! Who do you think is suffering? Yeah your brother and David made a horrible mistake...Brandon and Mark did an evil deed but...you have no right to talk about your suffering when there's a few families out there who were completely innocent to this and will suffer everyday for the rest of their lives!
If you want to find out who I am, send me a private message. I am sorry (as Southern said) that you have to live with this but, don't say they are using the girls as a crutch!
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:38 PM
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Your "innocent" brother??? Wasn't he the one originally to go into the house??? Both David and Mark say that the statement about killing you was a lie made up to save Mike's ass by your family. Your innocent brother better start seeing life w/o being so self centered or he'll get out thinking there was an injustice and really...they got what they deserved for the most part. If they didn't, the parole board would have recognized that. David is shaken to the core with guilt and your brother can only feel sorry for his prison sentence. Its better for society if the Ellisons would start keeping their mouths shut.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:38 AM
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Sorry this is going to be long.
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Originally Posted by tannere21
First of all my name is Tanner Ellison I am 19 years old and the brother of Michael Ellison. I was just looking up random things about this case involving my brother and just happen to stumble up on something that really bothered me and I thought I have to voice my opion on. Reading that reply to the girl talking about knowing my brother and dating mark duke outrages me. I have been to every one of my brother's parole hearings and had to bite my tounge everytime i go. Yes i cannot argue with the simple fact that it happened but people im not stupid i have done my share of homework so dont dare test my credintials because for that i can assure you that i am very strong on. My brother has been denied parole twice all because of the same thing....... hurt people that get up on the stand and use the only crutch they have and that is the little girls.
Well Tanner, I wish we didn't even have to be there and your brother is partially to blame for that so don't blame the girls point the finger where it belongs and that's not at the little girls who died the most brutal death you could imagine. How DARE you say we use our girls as a crutch! The Mims family is there to talk about the granddaughters and the daughter they lost, the Duke family is there to talk about the brother they lost and The Hunt family is there to talk about the LITTLE GIRLS, what are we suppose to talk about? Your family talks about Michael that is what a parole hearing is for to hear both sides. NOW, the girls are not a crutch they are just our side of the story and if you can't handle it don't go but they did miss out on a lot and those people need to realize these little girls you see in the picture that's how old they were when this happened.
I personally am 19 years old 3 years older than my brother was. at the time i was 8 years old and thought my brother was a god. I understand the fact that the girls died and didnt have to but there was nothing that could have happened to stop mark duke, he was hellbent on killing that family and there was noone who could have stopped an enraged teen with a .45 im sry. i have done my homework on this and i ran across a quote that sent cold chills down my spine and that quote was from my father talking about how mark was gonna kill my family STARTING WITH ME AND MAKE HIM WATCH! what in the hell do u think u would do if someone told u that after murding his family.
I understand that Michael made a 16 year old decision and yes I have heard the same story, I was at the trials and I heard it first hand at 25 years old not at 8 years old and not through the words of another family member. I was also told that they were going to kill your family first, I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone but I understand what your saying because truthfully I can't say that I haven't wished it wasn't our family it happened to, our little girls and anyone who didn't say that would be lying but it was our family and not yours so your family was blessed.
i am 19 years old graduated with honors from my highschool in college a mature young man who had to grow up way to fast and im here to tell u that i would have done the same damn thing. see i think a little fact that not everyone seems to OVERLOOK is ME. the girls died when they didnt have to,right, ok well their family will suffer from that loss forever and i feel for them and my 8 year old little prayers went out to them every night correct but what about me.
Your lucky it wasn't you but if it were your family that was left would be talking about you at these parole hearings, now would they be using you as a crutch?growing up a baseball star in pelham making all stars evey year in baseball having my name on records as one of the only kids in my age group to ever throw a NO HITTER in a district championchip to have to goto school to hear all of my peers saying...,.. hey tanner i heard that ur brother killed a family haha thats funny. and to also to have teachers judge me from what happened to my brother and tell me that im going to grow up a loser just like my brother. having all my friends taken away from me cause their parents didnt want their son around a MURDERER'S BROTHER yeah i think that people need to realize who went through the brunt of all criticism.
I would venture to say that life is not fair and I've said all along that your family is hurting too without a doubt. I have sons and I would be devestated if they took a life or helped in anyway but I would love them regardless and I would fight for them but I would never blame the victims that were taken away. Your Aunt and I have talked at great lengths as well as Michaels mom and I. My prayers went out to your family as well. It wasn't fair what happened to you as a child, your innocents stole from you. I can see where society would have disowned you and that was a brutal injustice. I personally would not have mistreated you or your family and I never did. Michael wrote us a letter and wanted to apologize right after it happened but the lawyers would not allow it. My family has sensed the remorse there, your father sent a tape to my brother begging him to be lenient on the sentence. I still have both the letter and the tape if you would like a copy. At the last parole hearing your father said that NO FAMILY had been hurt more than your family - what a CROCK! Your families hurt is NO WHERE even close to that of my brother who wakes up everyday without his children and would give his life to just spend one more day with them. When you have children one day you will understand what that love is like. and look at me im a sucessfull young man on my way to doing great things with my HONORS DEGREE and the emotinal STRENGTH to overcome all obsticles and still make something of my like and defend my INNOCENT Well now Tanner, if he were innocent he wouldn't be where he is based on the evidence I have personally seen.brother i think if a CHILD can do that then grown parents that only have to deal with people saying sorry for ur loss LMAO, yeah okay, there again you have no idea that's NOT all we have to deal with. To this DAY I cannot walk in a store without some idiot asking my brother, "hey did they really take a lot time to die?" or wanting some gory details of the crime scene/murders. It didn't end at the funeral home with flowers and sympathies. My son had his innocence taken away as well, he had to go to the same school the girls went to and hear about all of those gory details at school, on the news and he just didn't understand how they could be here on Friday and laying in a box the next time he seen them. He had to grow up too fast as well and the girls were like his sisters, they were together every weekend. So he had to grow up the same as you with a heavy burden on his shoulder of people whispering behind his back hey it was his family who was killed. He goes into a Gym everyday at school built in there honor only to see there pictures and wish he could hear their voices or hear them laugh again, he made it and is becoming a successful young man almost the age you are. With every milestone that he accomplishes he only has the wish of them being there with him. Every year for his birthday wish when he was a little boy his wish wasn't for a new bike, his wish was for Chelsea and Chelisa to come back home. insead of hey ur brother killed a family thats funny can grow up and get over the fact of the girls Get over what FACT of the girls? The fact that they are dead? I'm sorry when Brandon and Mark were in that house your brother could have called 911, there was no way Mark could NOT have got your family while they were in that house killing mine and they were in there 20 minutes before they started killing people, plenty long enough to get the police there and take Mark and Brandon to jail but what was your brother doing? HE was driving around the block waiting on a page. and let my brother out on parole just so i can salvage whats left of my childhood. Now whose using crutches? Just let him out on parole, he made a choice and it was a bad one, in life if you make the wrong decision there are concequences for your actions, good, bad, or indifferent life is full of choices. NOw your brother got 16 years. One day he will be out and you can enjoy the rest of his days with him making up for lost time. I hate that your childhood was taken from you, I hate that my son's childhood was taken from him, I hate that my brothers remaining LIFE as he knew it was taken from him, but most of all I hate that your brother decided to not make that 911 call and attempt to save a life and that is why in part the girls are not here today along. thankyou for reading and thats all i have to say about that.
There are a lot of families in pain, The collums family, the duke family, the Samra family, The mims family, The Hunt family as well as your family. There are always 2 sides to every story, I've lived one and heard about the other side so my prayers do still go out to your family along with the other families even though I don't think you worded this post as you should have and that is why I felt compelled to respond to you. You can contact me if you wish and I'll be glad to discuss more with you. We sent your brother a letter and never heard back from him so I'm open to discussing this futher if you would like to contact me. I don't hate your family or any of the families involved only the ones who snatched those ones we love from us.
1/19/2008 4:36AM
3-24-08 THJ
Joshua Tanner Ellison
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tannere21
First of all my name is Tanner Ellison I am 19 years old and the brother of Michael Ellison. I was just looking up random things about this case involving my brother and just happen to stumble up on something that really bothered me and I thought I have to voice my opion on. Reading that reply to the girl talking about knowing my brother and dating mark duke outrages me. I have been to every one of my brother's parole hearings and had to bite my tounge everytime i go. Yes i cannot argue with the simple fact that it happened but people im not stupid i have done my share of homework so dont dare test my credintials because for that i can assure you that i am very strong on. My brother has been denied parole twice all because of the same thing....... hurt people that get up on the stand and use the only crutch they have and that is the little girls.
I just want to add one more thing, actually if you've been to ALL of the Parole hearings (both of them) you would have noted the look on the boards faces when Mr. Ellison said that, "No family has endured more hurt than our family has." That is 70% of what killed his parole chances. The look of appaul and disbelief was evident. He showed such a lack of remorse that it was unbelievable, even to the board he was before. It appeared that he did not have remorse for the victims so on that one he hurt your case not the fact that 2 little girls were killed. We are dealing with 2 adults as well that lost their lives that tragic day. Also the threat was supposely made after the fact not before and not during. Now, my creditials on this case are STRONG as well, I've spent my life fighting the paroles and will continue to do so until they are EOS so I know it as well as my name and social. It's all we have left that we can do, you have to fight for your brothers freedom and we have to fight for our families justice. IF the roles were reversed you would be fighting as well, I don't think, NO I know that you wouldn't sit back and say oh let him go free so he can be with his family after taking your loved ones from you. I've tried to put myself in your shoes and honestly I wouldn't want to wear them but TRUST me you definately would NOT want to wear MINE either.
I personally am 19 years old 3 years older than my brother was. at the time i was 8 years old and thought my brother was a god. I understand the fact that the girls died and didnt have to but there was nothing that could have happened to stop mark duke, he was hellbent on killing that family and there was noone who could have stopped an enraged teen with a .45 im sry. i have done my homework on this and i ran across a quote that sent cold chills down my spine and that quote was from my father talking about how mark was gonna kill my family STARTING WITH ME AND MAKE HIM WATCH! what in the hell do u think u would do if someone told u that after murding his family. i am 19 years old graduated with honors from my highschool in college a mature young man who had to grow up way to fast and im here to tell u that i would have done the same damn thing. see i think a little fact that not everyone seems to OVERLOOK is ME. the girls died when they didnt have to,right, ok well their family will suffer from that loss forever and i feel for them and my 8 year old little prayers went out to them every night correct but what about me. growing up a baseball star in pelham making all stars evey year in baseball having my name on records as one of the only kids in my age group to ever throw a NO HITTER in a district championchip to have to goto school to hear all of my peers saying...,.. hey tanner i heard that ur brother killed a family haha thats funny. and to also to have teachers judge me from what happened to my brother and tell me that im going to grow up a loser just like my brother. having all my friends taken away from me cause their parents didnt want their son around a MURDERER'S BROTHER yeah i think that people need to realize who went through the brunt of all criticism. and look at me im a sucessfull young man on my way to doing great things with my HONORS DEGREE and the emotinal STRENGTH to overcome all obsticles and still make something of my like and defend my INNOCENT brother i think if a CHILD can do that then grown parents that only have to deal with people saying sorry for ur loss insead of hey ur brother killed a family thats funny can grow up and get over the fact of the girls and let my brother out on parole just so i can salvage whats left of my childhood. thankyou for reading and thats all i have to say about that.

1/19/2008 4:36AM
Joshua Tanner Ellison
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:17 PM
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I have no clue who “rae-duke” is but why would you start harping on a 19 year old kid, who doesn’t know how to cope with not having his brother around…I am sure to him and his family those kids do seem like a crutch, I mean the dad did have custody of those kids…god knows why the mother didn’t have custody, but for whatever reason she didn’t (I heard it was drugs and prostitution) , yeah sure it’s sad…but those little girls are not coming back…his brother can, so get off the guilt chair and let those kids out…
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:21 PM
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honestly who says "what a CROCK! Your families hurt is NO WHERE even close to that of my brother"....you know guilt is like a bag of rocks...you need to lay yours down...how much can one woman mourn. just let it go, none of this is going to bring any of the deceased back.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:44 PM
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Default You wanna just open the prison gates and set them all FREE LMAO

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Quote:
Originally Posted by instantkarma
I have no clue who “rae-duke” is but why would you start harping on a 19 year old kid
who doesn’t know how to cope with not having his brother around Do what I did for my son who went through it too, get him councilling if you don't know how to cope but don't blame the victim that's crazy. …I am sure to him and his family those kids do seem like a crutch, They wouldn't seem like a crutch if his brother was 6 & 7 in the wrong place and were killed. You go to a PAROLE hearing to talk about what the crime had done to your life and what you are left with. The other side talks about how they have changed and are ready for society. Maybe to him it seems like a crutch but they talked about what he missed out on so they use the same crutch. I mean the dad did have custody of those kids…The dad had JOINT custody god knows why the mother didn’t have custody, And she loved her kids enough to let them live with their dad for the school year so they could remain at the school they had always gone to. It wasn't an easy decision for her so don't judge a book by it's cover she seen them almost every day. but for whatever reason she didn’t (I heard it was drugs and prostitution) , LMAO, then you didn't know Dedra she never did any kind of drugs and she wasn't a prostitute. I'd like to know your sources, The autopsy came back NO drugs in her system so that's just a lie made up by some idiot. yeah sure it’s sad…but those little girls are not coming No they are not and this boy is partially to blame for that tragedy.back…his brother can, And his brother WILL he lost some of his life Not all of it or even half of it so get off the guilt chair and let those kids out It's not the guilt chair it's called the justice being served chair. and I bet you would feel differently if it were your children if you have children. If you don't you can't comprehend the pain. Let's just let all of the prisoners out that have 8 year old siblings LOL. There are people in there that didn't hurt anyone or help hurt anyone inside for longer than 16 years. Do you know how STUPID that remark sounds or do you care. His staying in won't bring them back NOTHING will but he put himself where he, he had a choice those other 4 DEAD people did not have a choice.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:53 PM
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What A Crock
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Originally Posted by instantkarma
honestly who says "what a CROCK! I just did RotfLMAO Your families hurt is NO WHERE even close to that of my brother".My brother lost his entire family from one day to the next that's not guilt thats REALITY...you know guilt is like a bag of rocks Yes and you need to take that comment to heart your trying to lay guilt by saying oh their dead can't help them now so set him free to help his family to heck with the victims...you need to lay yours down I don't have any guilt, I have pain that I can't lay down because every day is another day without them...how much can one woman mourn I hope you never have to find out personally but the answer is a lifetime. just let it go, none of this is going to bring any of the deceased back.No it won't bring them back but it will keep those boys in there hopefully long enough for them to learn to make good decisions and when they do come home and By the way HE will get to come back HOME (the victims won't=they got a LIFE sentence) Hopefully he'll be ready for society and that will save some other family out there (possibly yours) the heartache that mine has had to endure.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:07 PM
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PTO is not a victims support site, there are other sites online if you need that kind of support.
PTO is to support people who have incarcerated loved ones!
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird
PTO is not a victims support site, there are other sites online if you need that kind of support.
PTO is to support people who have incarcerated loved ones!
Thank you nightbird, but I also have an incarcerated love one so I guess I'm on both sides of the fence unfortunately. I respond to posts directly to the victims side if they respond first in order to correct errors that they post that are untrue but I also encourage others on the site on other matters and ask questions for my loved one in prison for drugs.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:46 AM
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TO: thuntj
Thanks for your reply, I stand corrected...I truly wish the best for you and yours...good luck with everything...I wish you peace for the remainder of your years.

Thanks


and nightbird...really? we are having a conversation...no need for an explanation of what this site is, I think we get it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:00 AM
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Thank you instantkarma, best wishes to you as well.
This site has help so much to understand the system on both sides. It's a painful situation but I have a loved one in prison and I am constantly in battles for him just to be treated humanely.

Thanks again for your reply and peace be with you.
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