WGBH reports that Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins will move for a new trial for Sean Ellis, once charged with murdering a BPD detective asleep on a detail and that if her request is granted, she will then move to drop the sole remaining charge against him - for illegal possession of a firearm.
Ellis spent 22 years in prison on a murder conviction for the shooting death of Det. John Mulligan in a Roslindale parking lot in 1993. He was released in 2015 after his attorney found evidence that implicated three other BPD detectives in a possible plot to kill Mulligan to keep him quiet about the way they were making money by framing drug dealers.
The next year, the state Supreme Judicial Court ordered a new trial for Ellis, but in 2018, acting DA John Pappas dropped the murder charge because of the passage of time and because the other detective's alleged corruption would make it difficult to make a case against Ellis.
In a statement today, Boston Police Superintendent Gregory Long says it really sucks some of BPD's own were particularly corrupt, not because they sent a man to prison for a crime he didn't commit, but because it made the department look bad.
The Boston Police Department does not and will not tolerate corruption. Every day the members of the Boston Police Department proudly wear their uniform to serve and protect the people of the city. In this case, the actions of a few have significantly impacted the image of the countless members of the Boston Police Department who worked tirelessly, honestly and honorably to bring justice to the Mulligan family. As Justice Carol Ball stated in her 2015 decision granting the defendant a new trial, “…the conclusions reached here should not be read as an indictment of the many honest and honorable Boston Police officers who worked on the Mulligan murder investigation. Moreover, twenty years after these events, this judge is acutely aware of the strides made by the Boston Police Department in the professional handling of the investigation and prosecution of their cases. This is particularly true of the Homicide Department, which is deservedly held in particularly high regard by this judge.”
Long, whose statement does not even mention Ellis by name, closes by writing:
The Department wants to acknowledge the continued pain and suffering of the Mulligan family. Our support for them has never wavered.