St. Paul, MN criminal defense attorney Deborah Ellis talks about her background in her career.

Contact Deborah Ellis

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (651) 288-3554


Well, I am St. Paul through and through. I grew up here and there was a time I thought, maybe I wanted to be a teacher, and that wasn’t very rewarding. I have my degrees undergrad are in English and theater so I think the theater major helped me a little bit in really liking to be in the courtroom. I feel like the courtroom is unscripted drama and I love being there and just watching what’s going – even it’s not my case I think courtrooms are fascinating ’cause there’s so many things going on.

Well, I think that my interest in criminal law began when I was probably still in elementary school and that was I was maybe in sixth grade when the T. Eugene Thompson murder case was happening in St. Paul. And that was in my neighborhood and T. Eugene Thompson was a criminal defense lawyer who was prosecuted for hiring somebody else to kill his wife. So I read the newspaper and at that time, St. Paul had morning and afternoon newspaper, I read every article on that case, followed like it was a novel. I knew the names of W. C. Anderson, he was the murderer, Norman Mastrian was the middleman and T. Eugene Thompson and all of the other characters. So I really followed that closely. Then after I started working for Doug, I had occasion to do some work for Norm Mastrian because Doug represented Norm Mastrian when he was tried in the Thompson murder case.

So the all served life sentences, the all got out, and then I had – I socialized. I actually had Norm Mastrian came to my house and made an Italian dinner for Doug and the rest of our office staff after he got out after serving a life sentence.