Two Philadelphia ex-cops who killed a man over a stolen pizza five years ago, are finally facing the court system. Chauncey Ellison, 40, and his onetime girlfriend Robin Fortune, 45, pleaded not guilty to charges that came from the altercation on Nov. 17, 2008, when Ellison shot 20-year-old Lawrence Allen in the back.
Allen was paralyzed and died of infection three months later. Ellison and Fortune are claiming the the shooting was self-defense. Some witnesses say they saw Allen pull a silver-handled revolver but no such gun was found at the scene.
Ellison (pictured, right) faces a voluntary manslaughter charge as well as conspiracy, reckless endangerment and possession of an instrument of crime. Fortune (pictured, left) faces conspiracy and reckless endangerment charges for her role in the shooting.
According to witnesses, she egged on her then-boyfriend, repeatedly demanding that he “pop one of these motherf******.”
The two now-fired police officers, who were both off duty at the time of the incident, were originally cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting. But when a new Philly District Attorney, Seth Williams, won election in 2009, he reopened the case and started a grand jury investigation.
The two ex-officers were arrested in 2012 and now face trial.
The tragedy unfolded after a friend of Allen’s, Demetrius “Meaty” Haywood, assaulted Ellison’s 14-year-old son and stole his take-out pizza. When the youth told his father what happened, rather than calling police, they took matters into their own hands.
Driving the wrong way down a one-way street waving his department-issued Glock weapon out the window of his SUV, Ellison and Fortune tracked Haywood to the home of Allen and Rosemily Rosado, the mother of Allen’s two children who was pregnant with a third at the time,
According to Rodaso and other witnesses, Allen attempted to defuse the situation, saying, “Calm down, it’s only over a pizza.”
But the two off duty officers would not calm down, Fortune screaming, “Ya’ll don’t know who ya’ll are dealing with!”
Allen offered to pay for the pizza and turned away, reaching into his pocket for either money or a gun, depending on whose story is being told. At that point, Ellison reached over Allen’s shoulder and fired at a downward angle through Allen’s shoulder, severing his spinal cord.
SOURCES: Philadelphia Daily News (2), Philadelphia Inquirer