Gunman Gets 12 Years

A gunman who shot and critically wounded a wealthy physician in the Hollywood Hills, allegedly after the victim's son promised him $90,000 to commit murder, was sentenced Friday to 12 years in state prison.

Superior Court Judge David A. Horowitz imposed the maximum sentence on Eric Barnes, 23, of Hollywood for the Dec. 2. shooting of Dr. Robert Ellis Sr. Barnes, who originally was charged with first-degree attempted murder, burglary and conspiracy, pleaded no contest last month to a lesser charge of second-degree attempted murder resulting in great bodily injury.

During a preliminary hearing, co-defendant Thomas M. Callahan testified that the victim's 21-year-old son, David Ellis, hired him and Barnes to kill the elder Ellis, 55, who reportedly is worth about $3 million.

However, the physician survived the attack in which Barnes went to the Ellis home and shot him at least three times in the head and chest with a .357-Magnum revolver.

Callahan, 27, of Los Angeles pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and faces five years in state prison when he is sentenced June 6, prosecutors said.

Charges have not been filed against Ellis' son, but prosecutors said the case remains under investigation.

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