40-year-old Chrisma Ellis, of Camden County, who was facing charges of First-Degree Murder, First-Degree Motor Vehicle Tampering, and Armed Criminal Action related to the death of Thomas Gifford in Camden County, has been declared unfit for trial due to mental reasons.
Following the report of an unresponsive man in a residence south of Camdenton received by Camden County Communications around 3:30 p.m. on February 16, emergency crews discovered the deceased individual, identified as 62-year-old Thomas E. Gifford, in his home. Detectives from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office investigating the incident found evidence indicating homicide.
During the early stages of the investigation, Ellis was flagged as a person of interest. She was initially detained on auto theft charges on February 23 while the homicide probe continued. Subsequently, murder charges were filed against her by prosecutors on March 3. Court records displayed Ellis appearing with her attorney on March 20, entering a plea of not guilty.
A mental evaluation order was issued on June 12, and during a hearing on December 1, a ruling was made to commit Ellis to the Department of Mental Health due to her assessed inability to proceed. As per a doctor’s assessment detailed in the order, Ellis was found mentally unfit to understand the charges against her or actively participate in her defense.