Warrant reveals new evidence in Kingsburg homicide

October 18, 2012 12:02:31 AM PDT
Action News has learned of new information in the case of a Kingsburg woman accused of shooting and killing her husband in September.

In a search warrant obtained by Action News Fresno County Sheriff's investigators said they found what appears to be evidence of cleaned up blood on a spot of carpet near the victim.

51-year-old Robert Ellis was shot and killed on September 19th in his Kingsburg home. His wife Kathryn Ellis, 48, said an intruder shot her husband. But investigators said her story doesn't match evidence at the scene. She's in jail on murder charges.

Court documents show police found a 5-shot revolver in a trash can outside the Ellis' home the night of the shooting. All five bullets had been fired.

The warrant shows Robert was found dead on his living room couch. The day after Robert was killed detectives found a spot of carpet in front of that couch had been cleaned of blood.

Investigators also said Kathryn gave them 'inconsistent statements' about what happened.

"It could be a lying-in-wait homicide. It could be a homicide for money," said legal analyst Ralph Torres. "It could expose the suspect to the death penalty."

Torres told Action News the key word here is 'could.' He said while the evidence outlined in the search warrant points to Kathryn as her husband's killer, prosecutors will need to find more evidence to convict her.

"I can tell you that I've had many, many cases, very serious cases, that at the end of the day the facts are not what they seem," Torres said.

Investigators are still working to gather evidence to prove motive and premeditation. The court papers show detectives seized financial documents and the couple's computers.

As Action News reported in September detectives are looking into claims Kathryn talked to an insurance agent about a life insurance policy, including different 'scenarios of death' and 'their payouts.' Kathryn asked the agent not to tell Robert about their conversation.

"It just seems like, from the moment the sheriff's department was called to the scene, their entire focus was on Kathryn," said Antonio Alvarez, Kathryn's defense attorney.

Over the phone, Alvarez said the warrant only shows circumstantial evidence. He said Kathryn is innocent. And that police never bothered investigating her claim of an intruder killing her husband.

Kathryn and Robert have a 15-year-old son. Right now he's being cared for by Kathryn's mother . She told Action News she fully believes and supports her daughter.

Family and friends have set up a bank account to help the family take care of the teenager. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo with the account #3957697919.

Kathryn is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next Tuesday.

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