Trial Began in Deadly Clovis Love Triangle

November 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The trial involving a deadly Clovis love triangle began with dramatic testimony about the crime. Cantrell Ellis is on trial for killing his wife Charlotte in May 2008.Both sides agree, Ellis killed his estranged wife. But the prosecution wants to show the crime was premeditated murder. On the other side, Cantrell's attorney says the man caught his wife having an affair and Cantrell exploded with rage.

Officer Barbara Cambria was the first responder at Charlotte Ellis' home. Cambria said, "You don't normally find front doors open at 2:30 in the morning. I thought it was unusual ... " Charlotte made a 911 call that captures the moment Cantrell attacked his estranged wife. Jurors heard the call at the trial's opening day. Officer Cambria testified she entered Charlotte's home found the victim stabbed and Cantrell standing near the body. Cambria said, "When I first saw him, I pointed my duty weapon at him and asked him to stop. When I did that, he put his hands up. I could see that both of his hands were covered with blood ... He then made a statement in which he said something to the effect: a husband comes in to find his ex-wife have sex with another man, what do you think happened?"

Prosecutor Mike Frye told the jury Cantrell went to Charlotte's home and peeked inside her bedroom window. Frye said, "What he saw was his wife and Sadan Scott laying in bed sleeping together."

Investigators accuse Cantrell of breaking in and trying to strangle his wife's lover Sadan Scott. Scott eventually ran from the home. The defense attorney says the crime is not premeditated murder. Sciandra said, "His feelings came over him like lava being forced up through a vent in a volcano until that lava just blasts out the crater." That explosion, Sciandra said, led Cantrell to stabbing his wife Charlotte.

Cantrell is expected to take the witness stand and tell his side of the story. That could happen as early as next week.


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