A Virginia man facing hate crime charges for attacking a Black woman because of her race has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Matthew R. Ellis wac accused of attacking the victim last May after he pulled alongside her car at a traffic light and yelled obscenities through his car window. He then followed and rear-ended her car, before pulling the victim out of her car by the ankles while yelling he was going to kill her, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
It took multiple men to subdue Ellis, who appeared hell-bent on chasing down the victim even after she ran into a nearby building. When in police custody, he made racial comments about the victim, before admitting that he wanted to kill her because of her race.
Judge Lynn S. Brice found Ellis not guilty by reason of insanity after reviewing reports from mental health professionals who concluded Ellis was suffering manic episode that was a product of bipolar disorder. He had been charged with abduction and kidnapping, two counts of assault and battery of a police officer, assault and battery that caused bodily injury in a hate crime, attempted breaking and entering and reckless driving.
“I was pleased by the outcome and glad to see that Mr. Ellis will now be getting the help he needs,” said Ellis’ lawyer Todd Ritter. “In fact, there was intervention early on (after the arrest) so my client has been on proper medication for some time, and he is not remotely the same agitated and paranoid person I met shortly after his arrest.”
Ellis has been committed to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for further evaluation that will determine his sentencing.
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