Washtenaw County deputy to stand trial for assault of inmate, judge rules

Christopher Ellul charged with assault and battery, misconduct in office by public official

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A judge has ruled that a Washtenaw County deputy accused of and charged with assaulting an inmate will stand trial, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday.

According to the AG’s office, Cpl. Christopher Ellul was arraigned in May in the 14A-1 District Court on one count of assault and battery (93-day misdemeanor) and one count misconduct in office by a public official (five-year felony).

Read: 35-year-old man charged after police say he assaulted multiple women in downtown Ann Arbor

Officials said in August 2020, Ellul was working at the Washtenaw County Jail when he assisted in removing an inmate from a cell. Video evidence showed Ellul grabbing the inmate by the neck twice. Officials said another deputy could be heard telling Ellul to stop, which he did before placing his hand around the inmate’s neck again. 

The incident lasted six to eight seconds total, the AG’s office said.

According to the county’s use of force policy, neck holds are considered deadly force.

“Seeing Mr. Ellul bound over for trial reinforces our commitment to ensuring those who are hired to protect and serve do so with utmost integrity,” Nessel said.

Ellul’s next court date is scheduled for Sept. 21.

More: Washtenaw County news

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DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.