Army Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Belvoir Accused of More than 16 Allegations of Domestic Abuse, Assault

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February 28, 2024
Tulley's Gate at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

An Army lieutenant colonel assigned to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, was formally charged this month with 16 counts of domestic abuse and other violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a charge sheet obtained by Military.com revealed.

Lt. Col. Ashley R. Ellis was arraigned in a Fort Belvoir courtroom Feb. 20. The charge sheet details how he allegedly beat, harassed and emotionally abused his wife, doing so on two separate occasions in front of an unnamed child, over a nine-month period between late 2022 and mid-2023 in Chantilly, Virginia, approximately an hour from Fort Belvoir.

The case was referred to general court-martial Feb. 1. “At the time of the charges, he was a network engineer assigned to the U.S. Army element at NGA,” a spokesperson from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency told Military.com in an email. The agency and the Army did not provide Ellis’ full service record despite a request from Military.com.

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On one occasion in October 2022, Ellis allegedly strangled his wife by wrapping an arm around her neck and took her phone from her, in front of a child. On a separate occasion about two months later in January 2023, he allegedly assaulted his wife again when he shoved her into a car and beat her chest and neck with his elbow.

The day after Valentine’s Day in 2023, Ellis allegedly again struck his wife, whom his defense lawyer revealed to be an active-duty Army major. In further separate incidents noted in the legal documents, between February and late June 2023 Ellis allegedly hit his wife with a door, took her phone away while holding a holstered gun, hit her in the back of the head, and strangled her.

In June, Ellis allegedly stole his wife’s birth certificate, passport and Social Security card in “an attempt to intimidate or threaten” her, according to the document.

Other charges against Ellis include alleged violations of Article 133, conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, and Article 119b, culpable negligence.

In one count, Ellis was claimed to have sent his wife a video disparaging her looks and clothes, stating, “I guess my cousin taught you real good how to dress like a ho, right?” In another, in front of a child “less than 16 years of age,” Ellis allegedly called his wife a “b–ch,” causing mental distress to the child.

“LTC Ellis categorically denies the allegations against him and he looks forward to fighting these charges through the military justice system,” Andrew Cherkasky, Ellis’ attorney and the founder of New York-based Golden Law, told Military.com in an email. “LTC Ellis is presumed innocent. The allegations against LTC Ellis were the result of a significantly delayed report by his estranged spouse amidst a bitter divorce process.”

A request for comment from the prosecution was not answered before publication.

The trial is set to begin at Fort Belvoir in May.

— Rachel Nostrant is a Marine Corps veteran and freelance journalist, with work published in Reuters, New York Magazine, Military Times and more.

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