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Mongomery County teen pleads guilty to killing man with shovel

A 16-year-old Montgomery County youth pleaded guilty Monday to killing a 57-year-old man by hitting him in the head with a shovel, setting the stage for the trial of the teenager's girlfriend, who prosecutors say helped lure the victim down a darkened path in Potomac last year.

That defendant, Emily Geller, 18, is scheduled to be tried on murder and robbery charges in May. She remains held without bond in the Montgomery County jail, an official there said Monday.

The 16-year-old, Artie Ellis, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He will receive no more than a suspended life sentence resulting in 25 years behind bars, according to the agreement. Because the sentence is technically a form of life in prison, the governor would have to sign off on his getting parole, according to attorneys in the case.

The victim in the case, Ali Zare, was an acquaintance of Geller's, according to authorities.

After Ellis was apprehended last year, he told detectives he and Geller lured Zare into the woods to rob him, prosecutors said in court Monday. Ellis told detectives he hit Zare with the shovel, but didn’t mean to kill him. Ellis and Geller told detectives they stole credit cards and cash from Zare, according to prosecutors.

Detectives later found Zare's cellular phone at Ellis's home and the shovel at Geller's home, prosecutors said. Barbara Graham, Geller’s attorney, declined to comment Monday.

Rene Sandler, Ellis's attorney, said that if Ellis does well in prison, he could get three years shaved off his sentence. "The agreement allows for him to hopefully get some meaningful treatment and return to the community one day," she said. "He's extremely remorseful for his actions."

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  March 15, 2010; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery  
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Rene Sandler, Ellis's attorney...said "He's extremely remorseful for his actions."
They always are AFTER they're caught.

Posted by: checkered1 | March 15, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Did'nt mean to kill him, what a bunch of crock, you stole the mans money and credit cards and probably used his cell phone to call your crack connection. You probably come from a wealthy family that bought you twenty five years. Little rich punks like you dont deserve to live, so dont drop your soap in the shower in Hagerstown. By the way your girlfriend wont like guys when she gets out, so kiss her goodby little Artie, they should have named you Myron...

Posted by: FrankMonzon | March 15, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

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