However, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Ellis is not a U.S. citizen. Rather, the Jamaica native is a “permanent resident,” and any person who is classified as such and convicted of an aggravated felony is deportable, per United States immigration law.
Thus, Ellis’ best bet is to agree to a plea bargain before his trial. He must make sure his assault charge isn’t of the aggravated variety and carries less than a year’s sentence.
Ellis is accused of beating a man who allegedly came after him with a baseball bat on the Hampton (Va.) University campus two Aprils ago. Immediately after drafting him with the 94th overall pick, the Jets insisted they were confident in Ellis’ side of the story. The felony charge is for “malicious wounding.”
A repeat felony offense would also make Ellis eligible for deportation.
The Jets rated Ellis as the 36th overall player on their draft board. But one rival G.M. explained that Ellis’ court case made him all but undraftable in April:
“That was big for us. It’s a pain in the tail, the whole legal issue.”