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Ellis had a criminal record prior to shooting at deputy

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2015 at 12:00 am

James Ellis

CLARENDON The man killed in a shootout with an Orleans County deputy late Friday night had a criminal record.

James J. Ellis, 44, was on Probation and in Drug Court in Wyoming County, an Orleans County law enforcement official said.

He has two prior felony charges. He was recently arrested on Dec. 23 when he was wanted on a probation violation and allegedly had drugs in his pockets. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance on Dec. 23 and was committed to Wyoming County Jail without bail at that time.

Ellis was living at 8 Durfee Rd. in Wyoming, about an hour’s drive from Orleans County. His mother and ex-girlfriend lived in Orleans County.

Police were called at 2:46 a.m. Saturday about a domestic disturbance a the ex-girlfriend’s house. Ellis allegedly had a gun. He sped away from the house in Shelby and was discovered in Clarendon after he crashed into a telephone pole on Route 31A.

He was in a wooded area when Deputy James DeFilipps responded to the scene. Ellis opened fire on DeFilipps, hitting him twice in the abdomen, Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess said. DeFilipps was wearing a bullet-proof vest. He suffered minor injuries from the shots.

He fired at Ellis, fatally wounding him. The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Officer will do an autopsy.

Ellis had been arrested before in Orleans County, according to The Daily News of Batavia. He was charged with harassment, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child in Gaines after a domestic dispute at a house on Bacon Road, according to the newspaper.

Ellis was on probation in Wyoming County after being arrested in July 2013 for numerous traffic and penal law violations, including having 16 suspensions on his driver’s license, according to The Daily News.

Ellis was released from jail on Feb. 4 after his arrest on Dec. 23, The Daily News reported.