crime scene

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office

A stranger accused of abducting and fatally shooting a Rutherford County woman Feb. 27, 2018 was indicted on murder charges in January, a Rutherford County Sheriff’s sergeant said.

Ellis Lee Bell III, 38, of Nashville
Ellis Lee Bell III, 38, of Nashville

Ellis Lee Bell III, 38, of Nashville, was indicted in the death of Katelyn Ervin, 26, of Arkansas Court, said lead Detective Sgt. Steve Craig.

After an intense investigation, Bell was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, especially aggravated robbery, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of a weapon during a dangerous felony, employment of a weapon during a dangerous felony, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated burglary.

Ervin was at her home in the afternoon of Feb. 27, 2018 when Bell allegedly broke into the family house, stole items include firearms and abducted her, the sergeant said.

Katelyn Ervin
Katelyn Ervin

“Ellis Bell drove the victim to a remote location where he shot her and left her for dead,” Craig said.

Family members reported her missing later that day. Her body was found six days later.

“There is zero indication that they had ever met or communicated or knew each other before this day,” Craig said.

Bell was arrested on state and federal charges the same night and remains in custody on federal charges at Grayson County Detention Center in Leitchfield, Ky.

The investigation was lengthy and involved many interviews and different resources.

“Since Bell had been in jail since the date of the murder, time was the one thing we had on our side,” Craig said. “We were able to use that time to secure a very good amount of information and facts regarding what took place that day.”

Bell was notified of his charges Friday in Circuit Court. His next court date is March 18.

He was previously convicted of several burglaries, thefts and weapons charges.

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