Closing arguments in Ellis case, jury begins deliberation - CBS46 News

Closing arguments in Burrell Ellis corruption case, jury begins deliberation

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DECATUR, GA (CBS46) -

Attorneys for suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis spoke in front of a jury for nearly two hours Monday morning, trying to help their client avoid what could be up to 20 years in prison.

Ellis is accused of trying to strong-arm people and businesses into giving money to his re-election campaign. His defense team asserted that he is guilty of no more than being a victim of an over-zealous prosecution based on unreliable sources.

"This case was going to be about a killing, a killing of truth and justice," said Defense Attorney Blake Thomas, on Ellis' behalf.

"The bottom, simple truth, is there is not a single wrong in asking for money," said Attorney Craig Gillen to the jury.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James told the jury the evidence should leave no doubt as to what Ellis was trying to do.

"Burrell Ellis was acting in the best interests of Burrell Ellis, period," said James. "That ain't what we hired him to do. He's a servant, not a king."

The jury convened for roughly two hours Monday afternoon and will return Tuesday to take another look at Ellis' 41-minute testimony before a Grand Jury.

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