Girl suspected of torturing, killing elderly woman posts selfies from prison
A young woman accused of robbing, beating and burning a Meriwether County grandmother who later died has been caught taking pictures while behind bars and then posting them to social media.
Months after three men and a young woman barged into Dorothy Dow's Meriwether County home in rural Georgia and brutally beating, burning and robbing her, one of the suspects is in the news again.
Accused killer Mina Ellery is charged with breaking into Dow's home, attacking her and pouring gasoline on her and setting her afire. The great-grandmother died days later in the hospital.
Now, Ellery has somehow gotten a smartphone and been posting selfies from prison. In pictures released to the media, Ellery is seen making whimsical expressions.
While jail officials don't know how she got the phone, they suspect a visitor smuggled it inside the detention center.
In August 2016, the foursome kicked in the door to the elderly woman's home and "began to demand money from Miss Dow. She pleaded with them that she didn't have any money. They began to brutally beat her,” Sheriff Chuck Smith told WSB-TV at the time.
Dow, bleeding, seared with fire and with broken bones, somehow still managed to call 911, alerting authorities. The foursome fled before they arrived though.
“With one hand broken and her arm broken in four places, she pulled the top off of the gallon of water, poured it over her head and put out the fire,” Beth Dow, the victim’s daughter-in-law said, speaking to WGCL-TV. “She then drug herself into the den on her broken arms to get to her cellphone to call 911. She said, ‘I thought they were going to kill me’. They told her that she was never going to see her sons again.”
Investigators think a visitor snuck a cell phone camera into a visitation room inside the jail. Sheriff Smith says deputies are reviewing surveillance video from the jail to see who smuggled the cell phone illegally into the facility.
CBS46 talked with who lives in Oregon. She says she loves her daughter but doesn't like what she did to another family.
"This isn't right," said Ellerly's mother, Sherry Lee Ellerly, who was reached by CBS46. "She's in there for a reason, and it shouldn't be like she's smiling and having fun while another family is sad and grieving."
Sheriff Chuck Smith told the TV station that jail doesn't have metal detectors or subject visitors to patdowns -- something that may change after he conducts a staff review because of this incident.
"We're going to make sure our jail staff is following the procedures," Smith is quoted as saying. "We're also going to use our video surveillance that we have here within the jail, and this is going to help us identify this person. That's why this person is going to be held responsible."
The case stoke racial flames when a conservative website shared a click-bait headline claiming the attack by a "black gang" on a "white grandmother" was racially motivated.