AG’s office says it needs 4-6 weeks to finish Manuel Ellis death investigation

The state attorney general’s office stated it needs four to six weeks to finish the investigation into the death of Manuel Ellis.

In a release on Wednesday, the AG’s office reported, “Our office is continuing to interview witnesses, work with experts and review documents. While we cannot put a precise timeline on the completion of our review, we anticipate that the work of our experts, the witness interviews, and the obtaining and review of additional documents will be completed in the next six weeks (April 6). We will announce a decision soon after that work is completed, and provide our findings to the public.”

Ellis died in Tacoma police custody in March 2020.

Ellis’ death was ruled a homicide by the Pierce County Medical Examiner due to a lack of oxygen. It also determined methamphetamine and an enlarged heart also played a contributing role.

The state took over the investigation after Pierce County’s prosecutor learned a sheriff’s deputy was there when Ellis died.

On Feb. 25, Ellis’ family attorney, James Bible, held a news conference at Tacoma’s Shilo Baptist Church and called on Attorney General Bob Ferguson to speed up the conclusions of his investigation team, which he said at the time would take six more weeks.

A special 11-member team, assembled by Gov. Jay Inslee and led by Ferguson, has been doing a special investigation into the Ellis case, separate from the investigation being done by Pierce County and the State Patrol.

Ellis’ family has repeatedly demanded Ferguson criminally charge the officers.