Thursday, October 6, 2011

Teen charged in Manatee teacher’s slaying

NORTH PORT -- It’s been a little more than six months since Manatee School For the Arts teacher Kenneth Ellis was killed at his North Port home.

For his students, all the emotion of the tragedy came rushing back Wednesday when they learned North Port police had charged Katrelle D’mario Johnson, 19, in the teacher’s shooting death.

Jamie Rolle, 16, found out as she got to school.

“All day I have been on the verge of exploding with countless emotions that were just ready to pour out,” Jamie, a sophomore and one of Ellis’ tae kwon do students. “It’s been hard going from everyday seeing him to not anymore. It’s been really, really difficult.”

Police say Johnson, a North Port High School student, confessed during a jail house interview last month to the March 29 killing.

During a press conference, North Port Police Capt. Robert Estrada gave a run down on how the events of that night unfolded.

“This was a total random act,” he said.

Johnson and the other suspect had seen Ellis’ wife, Elizabeth, sitting at her computer in the front room and thought she was alone, Estrada said.

The doorbell rang shortly after 10 p.m.

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