Lubbock man sentenced to life in prison for murder of girlfriend - FOX34 Lubbock

Lubbock man sentenced to life in prison for murder of girlfriend

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It was an emotional day in court leading up to Judge Trey McClendon handing down a life sentence for Juan Gallardo.

A jury convicted him last week for the murder of his girlfriend, 28-year-old Yvette Ellis in 2017.

During the sentencing phase, siblings defended Gallardo, describing him as a loving man and father. Gallardo's ex wife, however, painted a different picture, and said he verbally and physically abused her during their marriage.

Prosecutors said what happened to Ellis that night in 2017 can best be described as an execution.

"The type of murder that it was, the physical realities of the scene of her death, the treatment that she went through on the way to that tragic end, children having to watch it, her mother now having to raise these kids," Barron Slack, chief prosecuting attorney, said.

Slack said there was no question in his mind the type of sentence he was going to ask for. Gallardo shot and killed Ellis in her own kitchen two years ago. Slack said Gallardo abused and controlled Ellis for six months leading up to her death.


"A pretty apparent pattern of domination and limiting access to other people, control, 'Where are you?' How long have you been there?' 'Let me know.' All the time. Probably with abusive consequences if she wasn't compliant," Slack said.

Gallardo had told a jury Ellis took the gun from him during a fight and shot herself, but prosecutors proved he killed her with one shot to the back of the head. 

"The police upgraded the charges from manslaughter to murder probably within 12 hours, I would think, of looking at some of the crime scene stuff," Slack said. "Anytime you're dealing with someone who's done something that's that vicious, they're never going to tell you what the emotional driver was, or the real reason that that happened."

Ellis' family was pleased with the sentence, Slack said, although it was not exactly a happy day for them. He said justice was served the best they could hope for.

"It is the right thing, and it is something that can hopefully bring closure to them, and moving forward process. Nothing's ever going to set things right in a real sense, but its the best we can do in the justice system," Slack said.

 

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