Ex-Bury Your Dead Guitarist Eric Ellis Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison
He was convicted of conspiracy and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act as a member of a gang in Jacksonville, Florida called "The Guardians."
The gang committed a series of serious and violent felonies and crimes, including an extortion, which left one man near death. Other offenses include a woman was choked to the point of passing out; armed bank robbery; armed home invasions; cocaine and opiate sales; and local theft.
Ellis was a member of BYD from 2004 through 2008. He gave Noisecreep his first interview after the incident where he was attacked.
At the time, he said, "What happened that night on tour last year was that I was walking back to our vehicle after a show in Milwaukee and had a gun drawn on me. It was for his gang initiation. I was beaten with a hammer and a bat. I had 56 contusions down the side of my body. I look back and am glad that didn't happen to a kid at the show, or a girl coming out of the show. I am almost glad it was me."
He also explained why he chose to leave the band, saying, "I flew home and had an epiphany. I was faced with the concept of not touring. It's crazy, since I grew up on the road. It was like I got a second chance. When the kids who did that to me get out of jail, maybe they will get a second chance, too, and realize that life is not the way for them."
Things didn't turn out as he had planned at the time, it seems.