Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Derek Leitner and Trooper Benjamin Polansky arrested an ex-convict at his Crosby residence Sunday in connection with the hit and run death of 18-year-old Tamon Willis of New Caney. Tips led the Montgomery County based DPS investigators into Harris County where they were able to identify the suspect and take him into custody without incident.
Eric Brian Ellison, 34, is charged with Accident Involving Death. As of this writing, bond has not been set.
The deadly collision occurred just after 5 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Roadway Rd. and FM 1485 in New Caney, near the Harris County line. Officials say Ellison failed to yield the right of way to Willis, who was westbound on FM 1485 on his motorcycle as Ellison turned his Saturn SUV off of Roadway Road into the westbound lane, striking Willis. The suspect fled the area, leaving the teenager and his motorcycle on the dark road where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. The driver of a pickup was then unable to avoid a collision. The impact caused that driver to lose control, and then hit a ditch and culvert. His truck sustained heavy damage, but the driver was uninjured.
Willis, a 2015 graduate of New Caney High School, was pronounced dead at the scene. Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts conducted an inquest and ordered the deceased transported by Eickenhorst Funeral Directors to Montgomery County Forensic Services in Conroe for autopsy.
DPS investigated the crash, assisted by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. They obtained security video footage from the store at that intersection, which showed the suspect’s vehicle. In an effort to get assistance in identifying the suspect, the photo was distributed to news media, and the public spread it through social media and other means. DPS said Sunday evening, that effort was responsible for someone coming forward with information that led to Ellison’s arrest.
After Leitner and Polansky arrested Ellison at his home, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office assisted them by transporting Ellison to Montgomery County, where a Pct. 4 Deputy Constable took custody of the suspect and transported him to the Montgomery County Jail in Conroe.
Ellison is no stranger to life behind bars. The Harris County District Clerk website shows Ellison has faced multiple charges in that county, including Aggravated Robbery (with a deadly weapon) and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. A jury sentenced him to 4 years’ probation and $500 fine for the UUMV charge in August 2000. By March 2001, Ellison had violated the terms of his probation, causing it to be revoked. However, the probation revocation was the least of his troubles because the same month, he was found guilty of first-degree felony Aggravated Robbery and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
While most people try to hide their criminal record, the Facebook page posted by Ellison, aka “East Side” or “XX, freely states he was just released from prison after 15 years. In fact, his “about” section gets more personal than that.
“I am fresh off 15 years of prison. I’m looking to build family & friends to chill with and have the best life I can put togeather. I have never been in a relationship with a black woman and I am really feeling the desire to try and please one or more of you out of your minds and I mean that! I’m here looking for you all day and night. Friends or more it’s whatever.
Trying to clean up my pictures so don’t Tripp!”
Officials say Ellison does not have a driver’s license, and if they know where he was headed Saturday morning, it was not revealed as of this writing. Tamon Willis was out so early because he was going to work.
Both men’s birthdays are this week. Willis would have turned 19 on Thursday. His family has said they now plan to have his funeral that day. Ellison will be 35 on Sunday.
Judge Metts said Sunday he was glad a suspect was in custody, but asked for continued prayer for all affected by the tragedy.