The man responsible for an 11-hour standoff with police at the Motel Six in St. Joseph was ordered to serve 30-years in prison.
Roderick Ellis was convicted by a jury last November on five charges, for kidnapping her from her job, forcing her at gunpoint to drive to the motel and shooting her in the arm when she cried for help. Shots were fired at law officers during the standoff.
Circuit Judge Patrick Robb ordered 15-years for domestic assault, ten years for assault of a law officer, and five years for kidnapping, to be served consecutively. Robb added concurrent sentnces of 25 years for the armed criminal action charges. Missouri law requires Ellis to serve 85% of the sentences for the most serious of the crimes, meaning he must serve more than 25 years in prison before he can be considered for parole. Ellis is 46.
The incident on October 14,2015 prompted evacuations and lockdowns, forcing the closure of I-29, Frederick Ave., and several businesses in the area.
Evidence showed Ellis had for two years dated the victim, Rebecca Urban, who was herself married. But when she tried to leave him, he felt like she was playing with his mind.
The victim told the court she was scared for her life to this day, and wonders if she’ll have to leave town if Ellis ever gets out of jail. She says she has continuing problems with the gunshot wound to the arm she suffered during the incident.
The defendant has two prior felony convictions for out of state sex and firearms crimes, but Public Defender Susan Rinne told the court that was 25 years ago, and that Ellis hasn’t been in trouble with the law since then. Prior to sentencing, Ellis sat quietly reading a Bible in the courtroom. A pastor and former co-worker was one of two witnesses testified they’d never seen Ellis react angrily.
But that’s exactly what Judge Robb said Ellis did. Robb said the situation could have been avoided at many points duringthe incident, but each time, Robb said Ellis escalatedthe situation. Robb said Ellis had given up his right to be free by his choices.