New Trial For Memphis Man On Death Row After Faulty Prosecution

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(Memphis) A Memphis family and judge are making strong accusations against the ethical credibility of the Shelby County District Attorney’s office.

Michael Rimmer is behind bars as his supporters protest in front of the Criminal Justice Center.

Rimmer was found guilty of murdering motel clerk Ricci Ellsworth back in the '90s.

Now a judge has overturned his conviction and says the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office dropped the ball.

This fall, a judge overturned Rimmer’s conviction, saying the DA’s office didn’t turn over all the information it should have to Rimmer’s attorneys, and because of that, they couldn’t prepare a proper defense.

Judge James Beasley says the DA’s office never told the defense team about an eyewitness who told police two men with blood on their hands were inside the motel around the time she went missing.

“It means everything that he’s getting another chance. We were hopeful when they overturned the case he wouldn’t get a new trail, but they are,” said Rimmer’s mother, Sandra.

A new trial is supposed to start in July, and right now Judge Chris Craft is considering the family’s request to dismiss the Shelby County District Attorney’s office from being involved in any retrial of Rimmer.

“The district attorney’s office is so corrupt and tainted with prejudice against him that we don’t want anyone in the DA office to be handling the prosecution,” said one Rimmer activist.

Some believe police went after Rimmer because he had pleaded guilty to raping Ellsworth in the 1980s and had made threats to her while he was in jail.

Supporters say there is no way Rimmer could’ve killed her.

“Michael was playing music in a club here in Memphis that was too far away to have been in that motel,” said one of the protesters.

Ellsworth’s body was never found, but according to the witness testimony that was tossed, someone other than Rimmer was seen putting a heavy object wrapped in a blanket into a car trunk at the motel.

The DA’s office released a statement saying: "Regarding the motion to disqualify the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case of State v Rimmer, the judge in the matter heard the motion today and will rule on this on January 27, 2014.

"The District Attorney has no comment on this pending ruling."


  • Hard Truths

    The failings in the Shelby County DA’s office are those of leadership, ie, the people at the very top.

    They have a default setting — unthinking cat’s-paws for our obtuse and unprofessional police force.

    Amy has been a rambo prosecutor — and nothing BUT — for so long that she does not think outside the box, and has no inkling of the bigger-picture responsibities she should exercise this community’s lead prosecutor.

    She is a hammer, and to her everything looks like a nail.

    This is a BIG black eye for the Shelby County District Attorney General.

  • Nonya Bidness

    It is just a case of everyone in the (non)justice system trying to move up the ranks. They will hang a convection on anyone they can, guilty or not, to better their miserable conviction rate. This time it will cost the tax-payers.

    • Hard Truths

      Cops are even worse in that respect than DAs.

      They consider themselves predators, and civilians their prey.

      SOME prosecutors have some ethics. Not all.

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