A woman pleaded guilty Friday to two criminal charges in connection with the 2015 robbery that Richmond police Officer Daniel Ellis was investigating when he was fatally shot.
The investigation of a gas station robbery brought Ellis, 33, to an apartment on Ballard Drive in Richmond on Nov. 4, 2015. While inside the apartment, Ellis was shot in the head. He died two days later.
Rita Creech, 46, pleaded guilty Friday to criminal facilitation to commit attempted robbery and wanton endangerment, Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith said. Creech had been indicted on a charge of complicity to attempted robbery.
Smith said that a review of the evidence showed that her conduct was closer to facilitation rather than complicity. Her overall participation in the case warranted an additional charge of wanton endangerment, Smith said.
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Creech faces a recommended sentence of one year in prison for facilitation and three years on wanton endangerment, Smith said. She has served 341 days in jail — nearly a year — and that time will be counted as part of her sentence, which will be handed down June 23.
As part of the plea agreement, Creech will testify against Raleigh Sizemore, who was charged with murder in Ellis’ death. Sizemore also is charged with unlawful imprisonment, being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
Creech’s case is a little unusual, because she is also a victim, Smith said. Sizemore’s charge of unlawful imprisonment stems from an accusation that he held Creech at gunpoint before Ellis was shot.
Carl Banks, 37, also is accused in the attempted robbery, but an agreement hasn’t been reached in his case, Smith said. Banks had been released on bail, but has since been taken back jail after allegedly violating the terms of his release.