A man who fatally shot the father of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend in Ventura and shot her nine times — leaving a bullet lodged beneath her tongue — pleaded guilty to murder and other charges Friday.
Brandon Scott Ellis, 33, has been convicted of second-degree murder for the 2015 killing of Douglas Blasher of Ventura and attempted murder for the shooting of Alexa Payne of Oxnard, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Ellis, a resident of Katy, Texas, travelled from his home state to California after he and Payne had been broken up for about a month and went looking for her new boyfriend, according to Ventura County Deputy DA Patrice Koenig.
The two had been in a “tumultuous relationship” and Payne, a Ventura County native, moved back to California to put some distance between them, Koenig said.
On Dec. 17, 2015, Ellis entered the Ventura home of Payne’s new boyfriend, but instead of finding him, he encountered his father, Douglas Blasher, according to prosecutors. Ellis then shot Blasher to death before shooting Payne nine times.
Her boyfriend was at work at the time.
Payne, then 20 years old, called 911 and told authorities she’d been shot at the home in the 1600 block of Tapir Circle, according to police. Arriving officers found her outside the home suffering from gunshot wounds.
She was then rushed to Ventura County Medical Center and underwent surgery, police said.
“It’s actually a miracle she lived,” Koenig said, explaining the young woman was shot through the throat and a bullet ended up lodged under her tongue.
Blasher, meanwhile, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another woman and a 16-month-old baby were also found inside the home and were not injured, police said.
A day after the killing, police announced a search for Ellis and he was tracked down to a bar in Rosarito, Mexico the following day. The FBI and U.S. Marshal Service assisted in his arrest.
Ellis remains in custody without bail and will be sentenced on June 17. He faces up to 72 years to life in state prison.