Monday, December 22, 2014

Man convicted in connection with 2010 killing injured in fight

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 3/7/2014

A 27-year-old Ottawa man who was sentenced to four years in state prison in connection with a 2010 murder was involved in another violent altercation Thursday night in Ottawa.

Brandon Lee Ellsmore suffered non-life threatening injuries in a fight about 8:50 p.m. in the 500 block of Hickory Street, according to an Ottawa Police Department news release. Ellsmore was treated at Coffey County Hospital and later transferred to Stormont-Vail HealthCare, Topeka, the release said.

Another man, Dennis Kelley, 28, Ottawa, also suffered non-life threatening injuries in the fracas. Kelley was treated at Ransom Memorial Hospital, 1301 S. Main St., Ottawa, and later transferred to Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

The two injured men told responding Ottawa police officers that they had been battered by unknown suspects, according to a police report.

Detectives with the Ottawa Police Department continue to investigate the incident. Police were assisted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office with the initial response and investigation, the release said. No arrests have been made.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the police department or Franklin County Crime Stoppers at (888) 311-TIPS. Tips can also be sent in by text or email at

Ellsmore and John D. Balbirnie, then 45, Ottawa, were involved in a July 28, 2010, altercation that ended in the death of 24-year-old Ottawa resident Paul Duane Nicholson. Ellsmore, who entered a plea bargain in exchange for testimony against Balbirnie, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for reckless aggravated battery. Ellsmore testified that Balbirnie stabbed Nicholson in the chest. He also admitted to stabbing Nicholson himself the same night, saying he stabbed him when the man charged him during an altercation.

Balbirnie was convicted April 14, 2011, by a 12-member jury of second-degree murder and sentenced May 9, 2011, to 272 months — or almost 23 years — in prison.

Ellsmore was released Aug. 30, 2013, on parole from state prison.

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