Albuquerque Man Fatally Shoots Witness Who Testified Against Family Member in 'Revenge Killing'

Theodore Toney
Theodore Toney Twitter

An Albuquerque man has been arrested for fatally shooting another man who testified against his family member in a 2015 murder case, according to the Albuquerque police department.

According to APD, detectives arrested Theodore Toney for the overnight shooting death of Kenneth Ellis at a dance event hosted by a social club on Saturday, April 6.

Toney, 45, is accused of walking up to Ellis, 40, as he stood on the dance floor near the DJ booth, and shooting him once in the back of the head. Ellis died as a result of the gunshot wound, as reported by KOAT.

According to ABQ Raw News, Ellis was a member of the Elks Lodge and he was invited by his uncle to go to a dance on Friday night. Ellis, his girlfriend and uncle arrived at the dance around 11 p.m. at a building located at 525 San Pedro Dr., N.E. They had some drinks and at one point, Ellis left the table where they were sitting to socialize with others.

Surveillance video inside the building showed that as Ellis turned from the dance floor to approach the DJ booth, someone raised a handgun and shot Ellis in the back of the head. The video show an individual matching the description of Toney immediately after the shooting.

Detectives later learned that Ellis testified in a trial in which a relative of Toney was convicted for a 2015 murder. The victim in the murder was Ellis' uncle. According to court documents, the incident surrounded a fight over a woman. Toney's father apparently made threats against Ellis and his family because of that testimony.

After identifying Toney as a suspect in the shooting, detectives conducted surveillance at a Southeast apartment where Toney lives. An arrest warrant was approved by a judge and detectives took Toney into custody this afternoon.

Toney is charged with an open count of murder with a firearm enhancement. He is being booked into the Metro Detention Center.