Year after man, 78, killed in alley, man charged

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — On the morning of May 30, 2018, a 78-year-old man was found dead in an alley on Detroit's west side. More than a year later, a 48-year-old Detroit man has been charged in his death.

Reginald Ramsey, 48, faces a charge of first-degree premeditated murder in the death of Thomas Ellis, 78. Ellis' body was found in an alley on Mansfield, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. 

Reginald Ramsey

More than a year after Ellis' death, the cause of his death is unknown, per the medical examiner, but the manner of his death is homicide.

At his arraignment Wednesday before 36th District Magistrate Laura Echartea, Ramsey was denied bond, and will remain at Wayne County Jail.

Ramsey is due in court on July 3 for a probable cause conference and on July 10 for a preliminary examination, both before Judge Kenyatta Jones. He has requested a court-appointed attorney.

Public records show that Ramsey is on probation after a plea deal in an October 2017 drug charge in Wayne County. That was set to end in October.

Ramsey previously served nearly three years in prison in the early 1990s on another drug charge in Wayne County, along with two shorter prison stints in the 2000s for drug crimes. All were the result of plea deals, and all took place in Wayne County. 

Holly Kramer, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Corrections, says that Ramsey had been meeting the terms of his probation. Police and MDOC officials arrested Ramsey at the probation office Wednesday, Kramer said. 

The Detroit Police Department and the Michigan Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to requests for information.