Trial 4's Sean Ellis reveals next steps in his battle for justice – and why he signed up for Netflix doc in first place

TRIAL 4's Sean Ellis has revealed the next steps in his battle for justice after he spent 22 years in prison for the homicide of a Boston police officer.

The docu-series follows Ellis who says he was wrongfully convicted of murdering detective John Mulligan outside a Roslindale Walgreen in 1993 while on duty. 

Someone then took Mulligan's service weapon, a 9mm Glock, and shot him five times in the face with a .25 caliber pistol. Ellis was out getting diapers at Walgreens for his cousin.

Soon after his death, police arrested 19-year-old Sean Ellis for the homicide, alleging that Ellis and his friend Terry Patterson were after Mulligan's gun.

The Netflix documentary shows Sean facing three different trials – with the first two resulting in hung juries and mistrials – before he was found guilty in 1995 then aged 21.

Ellis has maintained his innocence from the start and in 2015, a court ruling reversed those convictions allowing him to leave prison.


Sean was out on bail waiting for a fourth trial when the Netflix cameras started rolling and he poured over the details that sent him to prison for 22 years.

Appearing on GBH News' 'Greater Boston', Ellis said the reason why he allowed cameras to follow him was to "shed light on the injustices that are faced" by "black and brown people" in America.

Sean said: "There’s a problem in this country, and when I think about what is going on with Black and brown people within this criminal justice system — we have mass incarceration, police brutality, things of that nature — there needed to be something that shed light on the injustices that are faced by us as a people.

"And so that was really at the heart of that decision, because it isn’t about Sean Ellis, it’s about those who are continuously being victimised by the criminal justice system."

Suffolk County prosecutors had initially scheduled the retrial for October 2018, then it was rescheduled for September 2019.

However, in December 2018, all charges against him were dropped after corruption in the Boston police department was brought to light.

Now Ellis' defence attorney Rosemary Scapicchio said that they're working to reverse one remaining conviction – a related gun charge, which she said would be a "dream come true".

She told the show host: "… because he didn’t do it and he shouldn’t be a convicted felon because of this case."

However, Scapicchio is unsure whether Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins would make that move.

According to JusticeForSeanEllis.com, Ellis has done his best to regain normality in his life.

A member of his mother's church housed him for three years and he has also learned how to drive for the first time.

Ellis currently works as a Development Associate non-profit organisation Community Servings.

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