Father of boy killed in giant North Olmsted eagle attack tells judge to ‘keep this monster behind bars’

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The father of 3-year-old Julian Wood told a judge Monday he doesn’t want the woman accused of fatally stabbing the boy outside the North Olmsted Giant Eagle to be released on bond.

“Nothing can ever replace my son, or anything that my wife and I and our other children are going through. It’s horrible,” Jared Wood said as the woman accused of inflicting heartbreak on his family, Bionca Ellis, stood a few feet away from him, her back turned.

Two men who accompanied Wood placed their hands on his shoulders. He struggled to hold back his tears.

“Do everything you can to keep this monster behind bars,” Wood told Judge Nancy Margaret Russo of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Russo then set Ellis’ bail at $5 million before deputies took her back to the county jail to await her next court hearing, ending a bizarre hearing that required three attempts and nearly one o’clock Monday morning.

Ellis first appeared by video from the county jail for her arraignment, a brief formality that in most cases is over in less than a minute.

She looked at the ground as Russo repeatedly asked her if she had a copy of his indictment charging her with aggravated murder and other charges in the June 3 attack.

Ellis initially responded, “I don’t know.” Russo repeated the question several times, but Ellis did not respond. Russo then asked Ellis why she wasn’t responding, and Ellis remained silent. Russo then moved on to other indictments and called Ellis back a few minutes later.

Ellis said “thank you” as soon as she sat down. She again said she didn’t know when Russo asked her if she had a copy of his indictment. She asked what “video court” was and asked for Russo’s name.

An assistant public defender, whose office represented Ellis in a misdemeanor theft case, told Russo that Ellis had mental health issues and attempted to waive Ellis’ right to review the indictment before be brought to justice.

Russo refused, citing the possibility of prosecutors seeking the death penalty.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate,” she said.

Bionca Ellis smiled during her arraignment Monday as a judge read the 10-count indictment charging her with aggravated murder in the fatal shooting of 3-year-old Julian Wood at the exterior of the North Olmsted Giant Eagle.Cory Shaffer,

Russo then ordered Ellis to appear in the courtroom and for the public defender’s office to review the indictment with her.

When Ellis walked to the lectern, she whispered her answers to Russo’s questions.

Ellis said she asked Cuyahoga County Assistant Public Defender Linda Hricko not to read her indictment. When Russo asked if Hricko did it, Ellis muttered no, while Hricko nodded yes.

Russo then read aloud all ten counts in the indictment. Ellis seemed to smile. When the judge finished and asked Ellis if she understood the charges, Ellis said yes – but in Spanish.

The attack shocked the Cleveland suburbs, where around 30,000 residents live. A GoFund Me campaign for the boy’s family had raised more than $240,000 as of Monday.

Video released Thursday shows Ellis entering the grocery store with a large kitchen knife in his hand that North Olmsted police said he stole from a thrift store next to the grocery store. The video shows no one tried to stop Ellis as she walked through the store front holding the blade.

Police said she stole it earlier from a nearby Volunteers of America thrift store.

She passed Margot and Julian Wood in front of the cash registers. She then immediately turned around and followed them out of the store, according to store videos.

Once outside, Ellis stabbed them, killing Julian and injuring Margot, police said. She fled the scene. Officers arrested Ellis minutes later near the store.

Ellis was on probation at the time of the attack. She pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor theft charge that accused her of shoplifting $69 worth of food and clothing from the North Olmsted Walmart in March 2023, according to a copy of the police report .

She was also about to be evicted from a building in Cleveland, according to court records.