Ella French murder: Convicted killer Emonte Morgan says he didn't receive fair trial, requests new one

The man found guilty of fatally shooting Chicago Police Officer Ella French in 2021 is requesting a new trial.

Emonte Morgan, 23, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Officer French last month. He was also found guilty of attempted first-degree murder in connection to French's partner, Officer Carlos Yanez, who was seriously wounded in the attack, and a third police officer, Joshua Blas.

It took the jury less than four hours to reach a verdict.

The verdict stemmed from the fatal shooting that occurred in August 2021.

Officer French, who was 29 at the time of her death, Officer Yanez and Officer Blas stopped Emonte Morgan and his brother, Eric Morgan, on Aug. 7, 2021, for having expired plates near the intersection of 63rd Street and Bell Avenue.

The brothers got out of the car when told to, but, Emonte refused to put down a drink and cell phone he was holding.

Emonte Morgan (left) and Ella French | Chicago police

Prosecutors said he got into a struggle with police, while Eric ran off, and at some point, Emonte started shooting, striking both French and Yanez.

Both officers were transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Officer French died from her injuries. Officer Yanez was left paralyzed.

In September 2021, Emonte Morgan was indicted on 85 counts for his role in the fatal shooting of Officer French, and in March 2024, he was found guilty. 

On April 3, Emonte's attorney submitted a motion requesting a new trial for the following reasons:

  • The State failed to prove Emonte Morgan guilty beyond a reasonable doubt as to each offense.
  • The verdicts are against the weight of the evidence.
  • Emonte Morgan was denied due process of the law.
  • Emonte Morgan was denied equal protection of the law.
  • The State failed to prove every material allegation of the offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • The Court erred in giving jury instructions on behalf of the State over the Defense’s objection.
  • Emonte Morgan did not receive a fair and impartial trial as guaranteed him under Article I, Sections 2, 6, 8 and 10 of the Constitution of the State of Illinois and under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
  • The Court erred in denying the Defense motion for a directed verdict at the close of the State’s case.
  • The State made prejudicial, inflammatory and erroneous statements in closing arguments designed to arouse the prejudices and passions of the jury, thereby prejudicing Emonte Morgan’s right to a fair trial. 

A sentencing date for Emonte Morgan was not set following his conviction, but a date for post-trial motions is scheduled for Friday, April 19.