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Press Release

Serial Stalker Sentenced To Nearly Five Years For Making Threats And Mailing A Dead Animal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington today sentenced Romney Christopher Ellis (57, Indianapolis) to 4 years and 10 months in federal prison for making threats and mailing a dead animal using the U.S. Mail. The court also ordered Ellis not to have contact with any of the victims associated with the case.

Ellis had pleaded guilty on April 23, 2020.

According to court documents, for at least four years, Ellis engaged in a campaign of harassment against a victim residing in Hillsborough County. Between 2012 and 2018, a Hillsborough County judge issued multiple domestic violence injunctions against Ellis on the victim’s behalf. Ellis repeatedly violated the orders, including by stalking and threatening the victim, and, in 2013, was convicted of aggravated stalking.

In 2019, Ellis continued his harassment campaign against the victim through text messages, photographs, and videos. Ellis’s communications involved threats of violence, including messages indicating that he intended to travel from Indiana to Florida, and planned to decapitate and set the victim on fire. Ellis routinely made racially and sexually charged statements in the text messages, including sending sexually explicit images of himself to the victim. Ellis also used the U.S. Mail to harass the victim and victim’s family and friends. One on occasion, Ellis mailed a package to the victim’s home containing a dead rat and black rose.

 In February 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Ellis’s home in Indianapolis and recovered a handwritten note containing the names and addresses of the victim and the victim’s family and friends.

The investigation also revealed that Ellis had a history of repeatedly stalking and victimizing people throughout his life. Court documents showed that since as early as 1993 and continuing through Ellis’s date of arrest in March 2020, 14 individuals had sought and obtained protective orders against Ellis based on his harassment, stalking, threats, and acts of violence.

This case was investigated by U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.

Updated January 5, 2021