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Teen gets 25 years for shovel murder

A Montgomery County teenager was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday for a 2009 murder in which he struck the victim in the head with a shovel.

Artie Ellis, 16, earlier had pleaded guilty in the case, part of an agreement that capped his maximum sentence at 25 years.

The penalty was fashioned as a partially suspended life-sentence, meaning the governor would have to sign off on parole, according to attorneys.

Ellis's co-defendant, Emily Geller, 19, also has pleaded guilty. Her sentencing is set for next month.

In May, 2009, Geller and Ellis conspired to rob the victim, Ali Zare, along a path in Potomac. Ellis hit him with the shovel, and Zare fell to the ground and struck his head on pavement.

Ellis has maintained throughout the case that he never intended to kill Zare.

“To the Zare family, I am sorry,” he said in court, part of remarks to the judge in which he also apologized to his family and asked to receive help during his prison stay.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  | September 29, 2010; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse, From the Courthouse, Montgomery, Updates  
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Ruined lives -- that is all that has been left behind. Artie and Emily have nothing more than jail brutality to look forward to. So ridiculously sad....

Posted by: lovinliberty | September 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

he killed a shovel?

Posted by: ObamaisFraud | September 29, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I kill shovels all the time!

Posted by: mossmillennium | September 29, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"“To the Zare family, I am sorry,” he said in court, part of remarks to the judge in which he also apologized to his family and asked to receive help during his prison stay."

LOL I hope that he didn't say that tounge-in-cheek ;)

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 29, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Cellmate Bubba awaits with a much more friendlier weapon than a shovel.

Posted by: Calabrese99 | September 30, 2010 3:42 AM | Report abuse

All I care about is race.

Posted by: rollmonte | September 30, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Keep the thug in jail-no parole!

Posted by: 10bestfan | September 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

He's sorry...well I bet that makes the victim's family feel much better.
At 16 he was old enough to know hitting someone in the head with a shovel was potentially fatal.
My guess is he's more sorry he was caught than for having committed the crime.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | September 30, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

If race was not mentioned in the article, rollmonte, I am 99.9% sure the perps are not black or hispanic!!!! If they were, the world would know it!

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | September 30, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

This was an unfortunate incident but what in the world does race have to do with it?

Posted by: Mr_Man | September 30, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

This was an unfortunate incident but what in the world does race have to do with it?

Posted by: Mr_Man | September 30, 2010 10:12 AM


Well, nothing really. However, when there is a shooting in DC or PG County, there are racially insensitive remarks made by posters; the assumption by posters that all Blacks are like the ones who choose a life of crime; that "these types of things" do not happen in other areas, etc. These same types of posts are not present when the crime is committed in Montgomery County, Fairfax, etc. because the assumption is that the perps are white (never mind that crime and death have no color). Apparently, the location and assumption that the suspect is white makes it a "respectable" crime in the eyes of some posters (I say this sarcastically, of course).

Posted by: gitouttahere | September 30, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse


You claim that if the suspects were black or hispanic the entire world would know. Well, the male convicted was black. The female convicted was white. I'm not saying it matters but your comment is off base. In my opinion, the Post generally goes out of its way to leave out the race of suspects when suspect is of "minority" race, when possible.

Posted by: fighterDC | September 30, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Make the S.O.B dig ditches from dusk 'til dawn with the murder weapon, only then to refill them, a la "Cool Hand Luke".

Posted by: No_Punt_Intended | September 30, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

He'll be sorry when Bubba bends him over ...

Posted by: blackforestcherry | September 30, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

How much do you want to bet that 19 year old white Emily, who probably encouraged this 16 year old moron to do it, won't get anything near HIS sentence. That's justice in the man's system . . . just like for the Dean of Villanova Law School who is another good ol boy!

Posted by: TheChampishere | September 30, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I can see the bumper stickers now:

- "Shovels kill"

- "When shovels are outlawed only outlaws will have shovels"

Posted by: nuke41 | September 30, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I know of an incident where an elderly man was killed with an IBM typewriter. He was beaten to the ground by an assailant who then dropped a 33-pound IBM on his head. Should we outlaw typewriters, too?

Posted by: Baltimore11 | September 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Why wasnt it mentioned that she had been sleeping with men for money?

Posted by: DCNATIVESON6192000 | September 30, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

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