A man involved in an attempted robbery that led to the fatal shooting of Richmond police officer Daniel Ellis in 2015 pleaded guilty Wednesday.
Carl Lee Banks, 37, pleaded guilty to complicity to first-degree wanton endangerment, criminal facilitation to attempted robbery and bail jumping. Madison County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith recommended a total sentence of four years in prison.
Banks drove a van that was involved in the Nov. 4, 2015, attempted robbery of a gas station in Richmond. The robbery investigation led Ellis, 33, a seven-year veteran of the Richmond department, to Gregory Ratliff’s apartment in search of Raleigh Sizemore, who was holding Rita Creech against her will in a back bedroom. Creech had been a passenger in the van driven by Banks.
Ratliff let Ellis into the apartment and allowed him to search. He told police that no one else was there and that there were no weapons in the apartment, police said. Sizemore thenshot Ellis as the officer crossed the threshold of the bedroom door, according to police reports. Ellis died two days later.
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Madison Circuit Court Judge William Clouse Jr. scheduled Banks’ sentencing for July 28.
Creech, 46, was sentenced to probation last month. She pleaded guilty in May to criminal facilitation to robbery, a misdemeanor, and wanton endangerment, a felony.
As part of her plea agreement, Creech will testify against Sizemore, who is charged with murder, unlawful imprisonment, being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
Sizemore’s charge of unlawful imprisonment stems from the accusation that he held Creech at gunpoint in the Ballard Drive apartment before Ellis was shot.
Sizemore’s trial is scheduled for next year. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.