Accused mass murderer Ronald Ellis has asked Prince George's County prosecutors to let him see all 700 crime-scene photographs of the six persons shot to death in his Camp Springs house as well as all articles of clothing that the six were wearing the day of the May 2 murder.
State's attorney Arthur A. Marshall Jr. said it is the first time he could remember during his 16-year career as county prosecutor that an accused murderer asked to personally review all the evidence instead of simply leaving it to his lawyer.
Ellis would review the evidence with his lawyer, J. Kenneth Mundy, if the request is granted.
Marshall said he would allow Ellis to see the evidence, pending formal approval by Judge Jacob S. Levin. It has not been determined when or where Ellis would see the pictures and clothing.
The six persons who were shot to death in Ellis' home May 2 were his wife Ingrid, a D.C. police sergeant; his daughters Tammy, 12, and Monica, 4, and three of his wife's friends -- Sherry Robinson, 32; Janet Jackson, 31, and Jackson's 12-year-old son Tyrone. The murders occurred soon after the Ellises decided to get a divorce.
A motion filed by Mundy states that he was "directly instructed by the defendant" to ask whether Ellis could see the photographs and clothing. Mundy did not return a reporter's telephone calls yesterday.
The reason for the request, according to the motion, is that "the defendant feels his firsthand familiarity with the house and certain other items of evidence will enable him to be more useful and helpful in presentation of a factual defense."
The trial is scheduled to begin next month. Ellis has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity, but he has not yet been evaluated by psychiatrists for the defense.