Updated Mon, Sep 16, 2013 10:24 am
The trial of a Millfield man accused of shooting his now ex-wife while she slept is set to begin Tuesday in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
Jerry Lewis, 60, is charged with felonious assault, theft and forgery. The prosecution alleges he shot his then-wife, Connie, in the abdomen while she slept in August of 2011. She survived the gunshot wound and later filed for divorce and also filed a civil lawsuit against Lewis for $1 million.
The defense argues that Connie Lewis was attempting to commit suicide that night.
The medical records of Connie Lewis became a debated part of her ex-husband’s case because it was claimed that she was on medication that would have made her incapable of shooting a gun.
The prosecution attempted to have subpoenas of medical records from CVS Pharmacy and Walmart quashed in May, something defense attorney Kirk McVay said were necessary to the case.
“(Connie Lewis) rationalized in her conversation with Det. Fick that she would have been incapable of shooting herself on the night in question as she had taken several Xanax in the course of the day and evening and remembered nothing of the night until she woke up in the hospital,” stated McVay in his response to the motion to quash the records. “The implication is that the effect of the drugs in question was to render her physically unable to have possessed the gun in question and so acted. (Jerry Lewis) reasonably anticipates that the state will introduce such evidence in its case-in-chief to support its theory ... Accordingly, it is a vital part of the defendant’s case to obtain prescription records of Ms. Lewis to determine specifically what medications she is likely to have taken ...”
McVay said Connie Lewis spoke to detectives from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and told them she “did not believe she had shot herself, that she did not think she could,” according to court documents. Connie Lewis also told detectives she had taken “one or two Xanax” and attempted to kill herself by “securing plastic bags over her head.”
Detectives originally treated the case as a suicide until the woman told deputies she hadn’t shot herself and was asleep at the time.
Investigators conducted gunshot residue tests on both Jerry and Connie Lewis, which allegedly found positive results on Jerry Lewis’ hands and negative results on Connie Lewis.
The prosecution also alleges the man stole checks totaling $1,200 from Connie Lewis.
Connie Lewis is suing her ex-husband for the same incident and has claimed he had “conversations with unknown persons and talked about the offense” on a computer. When a search warrant was executed, investigators found the history on the computer had been cleared “possibly to hide evidence of conversations about causing harm to Connie Lewis and/or researching ways to cause harm to Connie Lewis,” according to a search warrant affidavit written by investigator Tom McKnight.
Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn anticipates the trial will last three to four days. If convicted, Jerry Lewis could face a maximum of 11 years in prison.