By Rhonda Cook
A tire -looking Burrell Ellis was stoic as he was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison plus 3 1/2 years on probation.
The former DeKalb County CEO was sentenced for last week’s conviction on one count of attempted extortion of a county vendor and three counts of lying to a special purpose grand jury
Judge Courtney Johnson announced his punishment after hearing from several high-profile character witnesses and ministers. Some urged the judge to set some sort of punishment that would allow Ellis to return home to be there for his 10-year-old twins.
“There is no extra money in Burrell Ellis’ pocket,” said former DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown. “There is a lot of damage that has been done to him, his family.”
Also speaking were former New Orleans Mayor and now president of the National Urban League Marc Morial and former Atlanta Mayor Andy Young. Ellis’ sister and several ministers also spoke.
“He has suffered a great deal,” said Ellis’ attorney, Craig Gillen.
District Attorney Robert James asked Johnson to sentence Ellis to five years in prison to be followed by five years on probation.
Gillen asked for five years probation and six months of home detention.
Johnson denied Ellis’ request to be free on bond while he appeals his conviction.
Ellis’ supporters applauded him and urged him to “be strong” as he was being led out of the courtroom following the denial of his appeal bond.