Man accused in Exxon homicide faces trial

Attendees signed a board during a vigil for Exxon employee Aditya Anand, who was shot and killed while working Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Bill Kalina photo

The Baltimore man accused killing a York City gas station attendant last fall now faces a homicide trial.

After a Wednesday, Jan. 24, preliminary hearing, District Judge Joel Toluba forwarded the case against Mark Anthony Ellis, 29, to York County Common Pleas Court.

Although Toluba determined sufficient evidence exists to warrant a trial, the hearing provided no new information about the motive for Aditya "Sunny" Anand's slaying.

Following Ellis' arrest, police said the 44-year-old was killed in an "ongoing domestic situation."

At that time, police declined to go into details about the domestic situation. Following Ellis' preliminary hearing, chief deputy prosecutor Chuck Murphy also refused to elaborate, saying it was an ongoing investigation.

More:Police: Exxon worker killed in 'ongoing domestic situation'

More:Police release enhanced photos of Exxon homicide suspect

Gas station:  Anand was shot at the Exxon station at the corner of West Market Street and Richland Avenue about 5:45 a.m. Oct. 17, according to police. He was pronounced dead at York Hospital about half an hour later, according to the county coroner's office.

Detective Andy Baez, who filed the charges against Ellis on Nov. 1, testified during Wednesday's hearing.

Mark Ellis

He said video surveillance caught Ellis walking into the store, approaching the counter where Anand was and speaking to him.

"Immediately he pulls out the handgun, a shot is fired," Baez said, adding the shot missed Anand, who put his hands up.

The attendant then ran out a side door behind the counter, while Ellis fired at him again, the detective testified.

Ellis followed him out the front door, Baez said. Surveillance footage did not show what happened after Anand left, but he was found mortally wounded outside the store, the officer stated.

Ellis and Anand were the only two in the store at the time, he testified.

Baez said an autopsy showed Anand was shot in the left arm, and the bullet traveled into his chest.

Identification: Following the shooting, police distributed surveillance photos, which caught the attention of Tabitha Miller. She told police the man in the photo was Ellis, according to testimony.

Miller testified at the hearing that she had been in a relationship with Ellis for nine years but broke it off in March 2017 when she moved from York to Lancaster County.

She immediately recognized him, she said.

Defense attorney Kevin Hobbs tried asking about Miller and Ellis' relationship to establish credibility, but Toluba would not allow the question. The judge said proving credibility was not necessary for the preliminary hearing.

After the hearing, Hobbs said he believes his client and Miller were "undergoing difficulties" at the end of their relationship.

"We think the identification is suspect," he said.

Ellis' formal arraignment is scheduled for March 2. He remains in York County Prison without bail.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.