Oklahoma death row inmate dies of cancer

Wednesday, November 23rd 2005, 6:21 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Prison officials say a death row inmate has died of cancer.

Forty-four-year-old Cyril Wayne Ellis was sentenced to die for the 1986 shooting rampage that killed three and injured four. Oklahoma County prosecutors expected to re-try Ellis this year.

Assistant District Attorney Cassandra Williams says the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals granted Ellis a new trial because a doctor who was set to testify about his mental condition died shortly before the trial nearly 20 years ago.

Williams says there's no doubt Ellis was the one who committed the shootings, but the question of sanity would've been debated.

Ellis committed himself for mental treatment at Saint Anthony Hospital the day before the shooting. He checked himself out of the hospital and then shot seven people at three Oklahoma City locations on January 30th, 1986.

Most of Ellis' victims were co-workers. He had been fighting with his employer, Consolidated Freightways, about an on-the-job injury and workers' compensation payment.