Preliminary hearing set in 30-year-old Cape Girardeau murder

Friday, April 17, 2009 | 10:54 a.m. CDT

JACKSON — A preliminary hearing will be May 4 for the one-time deputy sheriff accused of killing a woman in Cape Girardeau nearly 30 years ago.

The preliminary hearing was set Thursday for 61-year-old Max Ellison, formerly of Sikeston. He is charged with first-degree murder and robbery in connection with the 1979 killing of Deborah Martin. Ellison is jailed on $10 million cash-only bond.

Ellison is on parole from federal prison for a kidnapping conviction. He has maintained his innocence in the killing.

Martin's body was found inside her plant and antique shop on Sept. 16, 1979, by one of her employees.

Ellison, who once worked as a deputy in Stoddard County, was arrested earlier this month. Authorities haven't said why they suspect him.


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