BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A man found guilty of trying to frame a Yellowstone County detective for a fire at his parent’s home has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The Billings Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1m4RpvF) District Judge Blair Jones sentenced 56-year-old Lionel Scott Ellison on Monday. He received consecutive sentences of 10 years each for two counts of felony tampering with evidence and five years for impersonating a public servant.
Prosecutors said investigators found evidence indicating Ellison staged the March 2013 fire and tried to implicate detective Frank Fritz as a suspect. Fritz had investigated a criminal case involving Ellison in 2009.
Prosecutors argued Fritz wasn’t in the area the night of the fire, and charges were brought against Ellison. Ellison was acquitted of arson.
Jones designated Ellison a persistent felony offender.
Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com
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