“Today the Washington Attorney General filed felony charges against three Tacoma Police Department officers involved in the homicide of Manuel Ellis,” Ferguson’s office said in a news release. “The Attorney General charged Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins with Second-Degree Murder and Timothy Rankine with first-degree manslaughter.”
If convicted, the standard sentencing range for second-degree murder with no prior criminal history in Washington State is 10 to 18 years in prison and the standard range for first-degree manslaughter with no prior criminal history is 6.5 to 8.5 years, the office said. The maximum sentence for both offenses is life in prison, it said.
“This is the first time the Washington Attorney General’s Office has criminally charged police officers for the unlawful use of deadly force, and just the second time homicide charges have been filed in Washington against law enforcement officers since Washingtonians adopted Initiative 940 in November 2018,” the attorney-general’s office said.
Ellis was killed on March 3, 2020 while being detained by Tacoma Police. The investigation was originally handled by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office but months later, it was revealed that Pierce County Sheriff’s personnel were involved in his detention. State Governor Jay Inslee later directed the Washington State Patrol to investigate the case, the office said.