Woman sentenced in deadly fire case, could get probation after 120 days
COLUMBIA - A Maries County woman was sentenced to 14 years in prison for a deadly fire Friday, but could be put on probation after a four-month period.
Tracy Ellis pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child for the fire that killed her daughter, Ashlyn, who had disabilities which prevented her from caring for herself. Prosecutors originally charged Ellis with murder.
Court documents said Ashlyn had a gate around her bed, and the nature of the locking mechanism prevented her from getting out of the fire. Deputies said Tracy Ellis had left Ashlyn unattended for several hours before the fire.
According to the Maries County Prosecutor's Office, the judge will evaluate Tracy Ellis' behavior in 120 days, at which point he may let Ellis out of prison and put her on probation.
The office said there was a peaceful demonstration on the courthouse steps by supporters of Ashlyn Ellis before Friday's sentencing.