‘I SHOT HIM’: Woman confesses to killing fiance after utility bill fight, deputies say


A woman confessed to fatally shooting her fiance at her western Travis County home early Sunday after an argument over an unpaid utility bill, authorities said. 

Travis County sheriff’s deputies arrested Charity Ellis, 48, on suspicion of first-degree murder, according to court documents filed Tuesday. She is being held in Travis County Jail with bail set at $400,000. 

“I shot him,” she told deputies outside the Hudson Bend residence near Lake Travis, according to an arrest affidavit. “I shot him in the leg.”

However, when Austin-Travis County EMS arrived, medics determined that the man, Bradley Sullivan, 37, had been shot in the chest. They rushed him to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, where he died just after 5 a.m. Sunday. 

Ellis called 911 at 4:19 a.m. and reported that she needed an ambulance at the home in the 4800 block of Doss Road. 

Deputies arrived and found Ellis exiting the house, Sullivan’s body on the living room floor and Ellis’ 15-year-old child, who would describe the night to authorities, standing in the door. 

An argument between Ellis and Sullivan woke the teenager up around 3 a.m., the affidavit said. Ellis told Sullivan to “get out” because he failed to pay the utility bill — and that’s when the teenager first heard gunshots fired outside, according to the affidavit.

An hour passed before more shots rang out and the teen told deputies he heard Sullivan tell Ellis, “you shot me” or “you hit me,” the affidavit said.

The teen found Sullivan lying on the living room floor, just inside of the front door, moaning and breathing heavily, the affidavit said. Ellis walked back into the home and told her wounded fiance that “he needed to drive himself to the hospital,” the teen told police.

According to the affidavit, when deputies asked Ellis where the weapon was, she nodded her head toward the ledge of a nearby fire pit, where they found a .22-caliber revolver.

Authorities then brought Ellis to the sheriff’s office for an interview. During a pat-down in the interview room, a deputy discovered that she still had bullets in her right pants pocket.

“Oh, look at that. There you go,” the affidavit said she told the deputy. “The ones I didn’t shoot him with.”


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