Editor’s note: The information in this article comes from court documents and previous Hickory Daily Record articles. The defendants named in this article are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Shortly before midnight on June 1, 2015, a man was shot in a back bedroom at a home on Eighth Avenue Drive SE in Hickory while his girlfriend and another woman were held at gunpoint during an armed robbery.
Lancelot Kenyatta Ellison, 46, of Georgia, was pronounced dead by Catawba County EMS on the scene. According to his obituary, he was a father of 10.
Witnesses described the suspects as three black men: One named True, one named Cuz and the third one they didn’t know, a search warrant read.
After Ellison was shot, the men took marijuana from the bedroom, a gold chain necklace with a cross off Ellison’s neck and money from his wallet before leaving the residence.
Ellison’s autopsy report lists gunshot wounds to his head, left arm and chest as the cause of death. Court documents indicated three 9mm shell casings were seized from the crime scene.
Witnesses told investigators Cuz was the one who shot Ellison.
True and Cuz were determined to be then 23-year-old Tevin Jerome Davis and his cousin then 23-year-old DeMarcus Kashaun Pollard.
Originally from Alabama, Pollard’s address is listed as Hickory on court documents. Previous reports listed the address of Davis as Statesville and Mooresville, while court documents list his address as Hickory.
Investigators with the Hickory Police Department located Pollard the day after the incident. He said he was in Marion at the time of the robbery and murder.
“When I told Pollard that I knew he wasn’t in Marion shortly after midnight, he said that he didn’t want to speak to police anymore and withdrew his consent to search his cell phone,” a search warrant read.
Pollard then left the police department and called his friend in Marion. She told investigators Pollard asked her to tell police he was with her that night. Evidence in the case, revealed in search warrants, suggests that he was not in Marion that night.
That evidence includes a photo of Davis and Pollard posted on Facebook on the day of the murders wearing clothing that match the description of witnesses.
On June 15, 2015, Pollard and Davis were indicted on charges of felony murder, second-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Davis turned himself over to police 11 days before those charges were filed. Pollard was arrested on June 11, 2015.
It would be two years before a third defendant, who was originally believed to be a victim, would also be indicted and charged with Ellison’s murder.
Summer Michelle Coleman, now 34, of Granite Falls, was indicted on murder and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon charges on Aug. 7, 2017.
Court documents say that Ellison’s family received messages that Coleman played a role in setting up the robbery. Ellison was dating Coleman at the time and investigators originally thought she was a victim.
The incident occurred in the second victim’s home. Coleman and Ellison were guests there at the time.
The Statesville Record & Landmark is not printing the victim’s name to protect her identity. She has not been charged with anything in relation to this case.
SUBHED: Where do the cases stand today?
Ellison’s case, now four-years-old, is one of the oldest in the district following several recent convictions in murder cases dating back to 2013 and 2014.
Scott Reilly, district attorney for Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties, stated last month that he’s focused on resolving the oldest cases in the district, which has been a goal of his since he took office on Jan. 1.
Although the defendants in Ellison’s case are scheduled to appear in Catawba County Superior Court next week, this doesn’t mean the case will be resolved, and the district attorney’s office does not comment on pending cases.
Pollard and Coleman are currently being held in the Catawba County Detention Center, according to the “Who’s In Jail” website. They are being held without bond on the murder charge but received bond amounts for the other charges in this case.
Davis pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and possession of firearm by a felon in Iredell County in 2017. He’s currently serving a 33- to 52-month sentence for that conviction in the Scotland Correctional Institution. In February 2019, he was issued a $1 million bond for the murder charge.
In several letters to Chief Superior Court Judge Nathaniel J. Poovey, Davis pleaded with the judge to have his day in court to prove his innocence.
“I’m currently being held on charges I did not commit or had anything to do with,” Davis wrote.
Pollard has written similar letters to Poovey.
“Your honor, I’ll admit to my past records here in Catawba County sir, but not one time have I ever harm (sic) or did any harm to anybody in this community,” he wrote in July 2017.
Davis and Pollard have had several lawyers over the last four years and have issued complaints to Poovey and the clerk of court’s office about their lawyers and the court process.
Davis is currently represented by Al Reeder, and Pollard is represented by Scott Gsell, according to court documents.
Coleman’s court file did not contain any letters as of May 30. She is represented by Robert Campbell.
None of the defendants are facing the death penalty.