Netflix’s ‘Trial 4’ is a true-crime docu-series that chronicles the tale of a man who claims to have been wrongly convicted of murdering a police officer when he was just 19-years-old. Sean Ellis, who says that he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, was charged and arrested for the 1993 slaying of Detective John Mulligan, just days after it transpired.
Sean faced three trials within a year before a jury could convict him. And then, after exculpatory evidence around the handling of the case came to light more than two decades later, Sean was allowed his fourth trial, his last chance at freedom. In case you’re curious to know where the man is now, we’ve got you covered.
Who Is Sean Ellis?
Sean Kareem Ellis had a tough life growing up, so after he graduated high school, he started living a life that was considered “easy” because he needed that sort of cash at the time. Being from a “ghetto” neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, Sean had the opportunity as a kid to go to the suburban areas under a specific program for better education. But after his elder brother passed away when Sean was 8, his whole life turned upside down. His mother became a drug addict, and as the only man in the family, he felt the need to support them.
Therefore, after finishing high school, Sean began dealing drugs. It was small-time, but it was enough to label him as “troubled.” Consequently, when Sean admitted to an investigator that he was at the crime scene around the time Detective John Mulligan was murdered, he unwittingly made himself look like the prime suspect. At the age of 19, Sean was indicted for first-degree murder and armed robbery, for which he was held without bail pending trial.
In 1995, he faced three hearings before being found guilty and getting sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. For years, Sean tried to appeal his case, always maintaining his innocence, but to no avail. In the end, though, he had to fire his initial lawyers, knowing full well of their good intentions, because it gave him an opportunity to get some relief. That’s what led Sean Ellis to hire Rosemary Scapicchio as his criminal defense attorney in 2004, and that’s how the dominoes started falling in his favor.
After digging deep, there came the discovery of the rampant corruption within the Boston police in the early 90s, along with conflicting reports – from the prosecution, the media, and the police officers – on the case, that allowed Sean to be granted a re-trial on the grounds that his initial one wasn’t fair. Thus, after 21 years, 7 months, and 29 days, Sean Ellis was released from behind bars on bail. Furthermore, all the charges against him were dismissed in December of 2018 as the DA’s office decided not to pursue the re-trial altogether.
Where Is Sean Ellis Now?
Following Sean Ellis’ 2015 release from prison, he resided with a kind Reverend from his mother’s church, who provided him housing for over three years and helped him re-adjust to life as a civilian. Sean’s friends, family, legal team, and supporters also rallied to raise funds for him so as to allow him to be as independent as possible. At the age of 41, Sean attended his first-ever driver’s education course, following which he was provided with a computer and a serviceable second-hand car.
A month after his release, Sean decided to get a job to support himself as well. After a brief stint with a demolition crew in the city, he managed to secure a proper and stable position of work for himself. Today, Sean Ellis works at Community Servings, a Boston non-profit agency that prepares and delivers nutritious meals for those in need. He initially started out on the shipping dock for them but was later moved to the reception desk.
Now, Sean holds the management position of Development Associate, a title he was promoted to in the summer of 2020. Along with this, he is also a trustee of The New England Innocence Project and a motivational speaker who raises awareness about criminal and social justice reforms. As if all this isn’t enough, Sean’s personal life is going great as well. Apparently, he has plans to get married to a colleague at Community Servings in 2021.
All charges against him were dropped by the Commonwealth in December 2018. In short, Sean Ellis has complete freedom, which can never be taken away from him again. At least, not in this case, and not unless he keeps using his newfound liberty to do the right thing, not just for himself and his family, but for others as well. Still residing in Boston, Massachusetts, Sean, in his own words, may be wounded, but he is not broken, and he will prove it over and over again with his actions.
Read More: Where Is Trial 4’s Rosemary Scapicchio Now?