A Morganton woman has pleaded guilty to charges connected to an armed robbery.
Kristen Jewel Ellis, 26, of Morganton, will spend at least seven years in prison following her conviction for multiple criminal offenses during Burke County Superior Court on Monday.
Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court judge from Burke County, sentenced Ellis to an active prison term of seven to 11 years, followed by an additional suspended sentence of 22 to 46 months with 60 months of supervised probation upon her release from prison.
Ellis pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault inflicting serious bodily injury, attempted trafficking of opiates and flee to elude arrest.
She will serve her period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
On May 17, Ellis and a co-defendant traveled to a Morganton residence and she went inside, meeting an occupant of the dwelling in his bedroom. A short time later, she left the room, unlocked the front door of the home and allowed the co-defendant — armed with a revolver — to enter the dwelling. The two defendants demanded that the victim give them his pain medication. When he refused, a struggle ensued that led to multiple shots fired that struck the victim.
Ellis collected the medication, retrieved a shotgun from the room and struck the victim in his jaw with it. The victim took a knife and stabbed both defendants as they headed to their vehicle.
Ellis sped away from the scene, leading law enforcement officers on a pursuit before she was apprehended.
The co-defendant in the crimes has a pending court date in Burke County and is assumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Donnie Dellinger investigated the case for the Morganton Department of Public Safety. Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert handled prosecution for the state.