Potomac woman gets 25 years for murder; boyfriend accomplice had received same sentence

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 29, 2010; 11:14 PM

A 19-year-old Potomac woman was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday, closing the book on a sordid murder case fueled by dysfunctional teen love gone off-track.

"I really don't know whether or not you have a conscience," Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Dugan told Emily Geller. "And that makes you extremely dangerous."

Dugan earlier imposed the same sentence on Artie Ellis, Geller's onetime boyfriend, for the robbery-turned-murder that the couple carried out 18 months ago. At the time, they couldn't get enough of each other or enough of drugs.

"If there are kindred spirits in the world, Emily Geller and Artie Ellis were such," is the way an attorney for Ellis described them recently. "They loved each other. Both brought out the absolute worst in each other."

Their robbery plan, hatched about two years into their relationship, started by getting a shovel from Geller's parents' garage.

Ellis then posted himself along a darkened path. Geller called a 57-year-old car salesman with whom she'd previously had sex for money, offered the same thing and lured him down the path.

Ellis sprang out, hitting the man on the head with the shovel, causing him to fall backward and split his head open on the paved path. Geller and Ellis stole credit cards from him.

Monday's hearing was fraught with emotion, not all of which the judge said he knew whether to believe.

Geller stood up, told the judge she wasn't a violent person and started talking about Ellis.

"Me and Artie were in a relationship for two years," Geller said. "He did abuse me a lot. I stayed with him because I loved him."

Geller then apologized to the widow of victim Ali Zare. She was sitting about 20 feet away.

"I'm so sorry, Mrs. Zare. I never meant to hurt you," Geller said, sobbing loudly. "I am hoping that one day you can forgive me. I pray night and day for you. I swear I do."

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