Couple suspected of roles in 2014 downtown slaying are now charged with murder

Andrew Ellis
Andrew Ellis N.C. Department of Public Safety

A state prison inmate and his wife from Raeford are accused of shooting a man to death early on a June 2014 morning outside Club Bodi, a downtown nightspot.

On Wednesday, police filed murder charges against Andrew Ellis, 31, and Dominique Marie Ellis, 26.

The Ellises, police said, fired fatal shots that hit Vernon Oneal Jones Jr. on June 1, 2014. Police found Jones mortally wounded when they went to a parking lot at the corner of South West and West Hargett streets about 3:15 a.m. after hearing shots.

About 2:40 a.m., officers had been sent to the club, about a block from the parking lot, because shots had been reported there first.

In 2014, homicide detectives, who were asking for a search warrant, told a magistrate that Ellis fit the general description witnesses gave police of the shooter in Jones’s death. The investigators said they had interviewed him three times, and he told them he had never been to the club.

Dominique Marie Ellis CCBI

They also said that Jones, 26, had been a suspect in a March 25 shooting in Lillington, where he lived, that killed one person and injured Dominique Ellis and another person.

At the time, police said she was Ellis’s wife but was using the name Dominique Wiley.

Police never said Jones’s killing was related for sure to the disturbance at the club, but they acknowledged how close to the club and how soon afterward it happened.

On Thursday, police spokeswoman Laura Hourigan said Jones’s killing remains under investigation. She declined to comment on whether police expect to make more arrests.

Andrew Ellis is being held at the state’s Pasquotank Correctional Institution after being convicted on July 6, 2016, in Johnston County of being a habitual felon, being a felon in possession of a gun and shooting into occupied property.

State records show his sentence is supposed to run through July 16, 2020.

Detectives charged Doiminique Ellis after questioning her at their offices, and she was then taken to the Wake County Detention Center and held without bail.

Andrew Ellis had not been brought from prison for an appearance on the murder charge as of Thursday morning. He has convictions in Harnett and Sampson in cases involving drugs and carrying a concealed weapon.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT