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La Crosse man facing armed robbery charge has trial delayed

La Crosse man facing armed robbery charge has trial delayed

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Timothy Ellis mug

Timothy Ellis

The trial of a man accused in a 2019 La Crosse armed robbery will be delayed after his lawyer Thursday asked the court to determine whether he was mentally ill.

Timothy Ellis Jr., 25, will undergo a competency examination — due March 30 — after attorney Blake Duren requested the order from Judge Scott Horne in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

“I don’t want to say too much, but some of the things that were said could be interpreted as signs of a mental illness,” Duren said.

Duren told the court Ellis’ participation in his defense has been inhibited by his behavior.

“If he’s not cooperating because he has an underlying mental illness, that’s a whole other situation,” Duren said.

Horne found probable cause to order a competency evaluation and set a review hearing for March 30. He also removed Ellis’ trial, coming up in two weeks, from the calendar, saying it would be rescheduled after the next hearing.

Ellis and his brother, Justin Ellis, 23, were charged Feb. 1, 2019, with armed robbery and first-degree recklessly endangering safety, both as a party to a crime and repeat offender. Ellis also was charged with credit card fraud and receiving stolen property as a repeat offender.

Authorities arrested the brothers after receiving a call at about 11 a.m. Jan. 30, 2019, about shots fired on La Crosse’s North Side, according to the criminal complaint.

A person at the scene told a police officer that two men approached his vehicle on the 800 Gould St. and demanded money. After giving the men money, the victim said, one of the men fired a round into his vehicle and both fled the scene. Officers followed footprints in the snow to an apartment building down the street, where they found both men, according to the criminal complaint.

Timothy Ellis is in the La Crosse County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond. Justin Ellis is in prison after he pleaded guilty in November to fourth-offense drunken driving and felony bail jumping in Milwaukee County.


Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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