Ronald Ellis found guilty of 1st-degree murder

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Ronald Ellis, the man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

The case was wrapped up quickly Thursday evening after Ellis took to the stand in his own defense, expressing remorse for killing his ex-girlfriend Torhonda Cathey outside a Target store on Colonial back in 2014.

He said at the time he was suicidal and went to the store to ask Cathey -- who he hadn't seen in months-- to help talk him out of taking his own life. He described himself as a "conscious person with unconscious thoughts."

Ellis also admitted he almost shot another person after shooting Cathey three times in the parking lot.

On the first day of testimony, the prosecution called several witnesses to the stand.

The first was a security guard who walked the jury through the murder while surveillance video rolled. On the video, Cathey could be seen leaving the store and walking through the parking lot. That's when Ellis approaches and opens fire.

Torhonda Cathey
Torhonda Cathey

Witnesses said Cathey tried to run away.

"A girl came out from between the cars holding her leg, dragging it. Bleeding, screaming. And -- (crying). Then a man came up behind her and he shot her two more times in her back," said one witness.

Ellis is a former Memphis firefighter with a history of domestic violence.

The victim took out a restraining order against him, trying to prevent any further violence from happening.

But that wasn't the only case against him. WREG has learned he attacked a woman while on the job.

He was fired after this latest arrest.

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