Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Man, 19, charged with killing popular Manatee School for the Arts teacher

NORTH PORT -- A 19-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the March 29 slaying of Kenneth Ellis, a popular teacher at Manatee School for the Arts.

Katrelle D'mario Johnson admitted to shooting Ellis when he answered the door at his North Port home, North Port police said. Investigators were seeking a second suspect.

According to police, Johnson and another person may have seen Ellis' wife in a window and thought she was home alone. They rang the bell and may have been surprised when Ellis answered the door, officials said.

Police connected Johnson to the crime from a gun found in a Sarasota field.

Johnson was already in jail in connection with June 21 slaying of Robert Mann in Sarasota when investigators developed evidence that linked him with the Ellis slaying, officials said.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, working with the U.S. Marshals Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, in July arrested Johnson in Saginaw, Texas, north of Fort Worth.

A second suspect, Deifalla Malik Johnson, 19, has been charged in the Mann case.

Bay News 9 contributed to this story.

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