A Rosepine woman has pleaded guilty for her involvement in the 2016 homicide of a Fort Polk Captain.
Wanda Gail Gordon, 41, of Rosepine, pleaded guilty on April 3 to manslaughter in the homicide of U.S. Army Capt. Jonathan Lance Ellis.
The homicide occurred on Sept. 19, 2016 at a residence off East Hawthorne Road in Leesville.
It is believed that Gordon and Tobias Lamont Williams, 27, who was also involved in the homicide, were previously acquainted, according to Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office (VPSO) investigators.
Gordon advised detectives that she worked as a prostitute.
Investigators believe that Gordon and Ellis were acquainted and Ellis came into contact with Williams through Gordon on the night of his death.
The exact nature of the relationship between Gordon and Ellis is not known.
Due to the fact that they were together at the time of his death, it can be concluded that they were generally acquainted in some way, investigators said.
Through the investigation, it was learned that Gordon and Williams planned to rob Ellis and, at some point during the course of the robbery, Ellis was killed.
Gordon was indicted on Feb. 2, 2017 by the Grand Jury in Vernon Parish.
District Attorney Asa Skinner reported Gordon was sentenced by 30th Judicial District Court Honorable Judge C. Anthony Eaves to serve 40 years hard labor with the Louisiana Department of Corrections.
VPSO initially charged Gordon and Williams in 2016 with one count of first-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice.
At the time, VPSO had been searching for Gordon connection with the disappearance of Ellis, who was 40 at the time of his death, and his pickup truck.
Ellis's family last spoke to him on the evening of Sept. 19, 2016. VPSO began an investigation on Sept. 23, 2016.
The truck was found early in the investigation near Jeane Chapel Road in Leesville.
VPSO worked with the Army's Criminal Investigation Command on the investigation.
An unrelated investigation into a vehicle theft led to a warrant being issued for Gordon. She was found on Oct. 18, 2016 in Tyler, Texas.
When investigators traveled there, Gordon waived extradition and returned to Vernon Parish that same day.
She refused to discuss what might have happened to Ellis.
It was Williams who spoke with investigators, indicating that Eillis was the victim of a homicide.
Williams lead detectives to a location near East Hawthorne Road where he said Ellis's body had been dumped.
VPSO detectives, Fort Polk agents, Vernon Parish Coroner's Office personnel, members of the LSU FACES Laboratory from Baton Rouge and a Shreveport Fire Department K9 Search and Rescue Task force searched the area Nov. 15 and 16, 2016.
A cadaver dog identified several spots for forensic testing. Human remains were located in several areas at the location.
Gordon and Williams were arrested and charged after the remains were found.
Williams was charged at that time with obstruction of justice and first-degree murder.
Gordon had been in jail since Oct. 18, 2016 on the unrelated vehicle theft charge. She was then charged with with the additional two counts – obstruction of justice and first-degree murder.