Dou­ble-killer draws con­sec­u­tive life prison terms

The Phoenix - - LOCAL NEWS - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twitter

A Philadel­phia man will spend the rest of his life in prison on charges he shot and killed two men, al­legedly dur­ing a jeal­ous rage, at a Nor­ris­town apart­ment build­ing.

Obrian Stephen Lewis, 25, for­merly of the 200 block of North Wilton Street, was sen­tenced in Mont­gomery County Court to two con­sec­u­tive life prison terms af­ter a jury con­victed him of two counts of first-de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion with the Nov. 4, 2015, fa­tal shoot­ings of Mar­cel Ed­wards and Quentin Wat­son Jr. at the Park Place Apart­ments in the 700 block of Sandy Street.

First-de­greemur­der is an in­ten­tional killing and car­ried au­to­matic life prison terms.

Lewis also was con­victed of charges of bur­glary, crim­i­nal tres­pass, sim­ple as­sault, reck­lessly en­dan­ger­ing other per­sons and pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime. Judge Thomas C. Branca sen­tenced Lewis to an ad­di­tional 14 ½ to 29 years in prison on those charges and said the sen­tences will run con­sec­u­tively to the two life prison terms.

By im­pos­ing con­sec­u­tive prison time against Lewis, the judge essen­tially made it more dif­fi­cult for a fu­ture gov­er­nor to ever com­mute Lewis’ sen­tence. If Lewis’ life sen­tences are ever com­muted he would still have to com­plete the ad­di­tional prison time im­posed against him.

At trial, Deputy Dis­trict At­tor­ney Sa­man­tha Cauff­man ar­gued Lewis could not have been more clear in his in­tent to kill, given his threat­en­ing words in Face­book mes­sages and his ac­tions lead­ing up to the killings. Cauff­man al­leged Lewis acted with a “will­ful, pre­med­i­tated, de­lib­er­ate in­tent to kill.”

Lewis was rep­re­sented by de­fense lawyer John I. McMa­hon Jr., who ar­gued at trial that it was a case of self-de­fense that went too far.

Prose­cu­tors pre­vi­ously al­leged the deadly shoot­ing was the re­sult of a home in­va­sion sparked by jeal­ousy over Lewis’ ex-girl­friend’s re­la­tion­ship with Ed­wards.

Ed­wards, 26, of Philadel­phia, and Wat­son, 26, of Lower Prov­i­dence, were found dead on the sec­ond floor of the apart­ment com­plex, lo­cated at 721 Sandy St.

Ac­cord­ing to the af­fida- vit of prob­a­ble cause, Nor­ris­town po­lice were dis­patched to the scene at 11:12 p.m. af­ter re­ceiv­ing a re­port of shots fired. Upon ar­rival, of­fi­cers dis­cov­ered Ed­wards’ body in a sec­ond­floor hall­way and Wat­son’s body in­side an ad­ja­cent apart­ment. Both men had been shot mul­ti­ple times.

Nor­ris­town Po­lice Of­fi­cer Miguel Mon­toya re­sponded to the scene and en­coun­tered Lewis stand­ing in the apart­ment com­plex’s Sandy Street en­trance with a 4-year-old child.

“I was just at­tacked and I shot them,” Lewis told Mon­toya, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit.

Mon­toya asked Lewis if he was armed and Lewis replied that he had a gun in his waist­band. Mon­toya pro­ceeded to re­move a 9 mm semi-au­to­matic hand­gun froma hol­ster in Lewis’ waist­band, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint. Lewis was then taken into cus­tody, the af­fi­davit states.

Mon­toya told county de­tec­tives the bar­rel of the gun was still hot, in­di­cat­ing it had re­cently been fired. Lewis told po­lice he did not live at the apart­ment, but the mother of his 4-year-old son did, again claim­ing he was at­tacked in her apart­ment. The child was not in­jured, court pa­pers in­di­cate.

Nor­ris­town and county de­tec­tives in­ter­viewed the mother of the child who told them she had been in­volved in a tu­mul­tuous re­la­tion­ship with Lewis that in­cluded ver­bal and phys­i­cal abuse. She de­scribed Lewis as “very jeal­ous” and said he threat­ened to kill her dur­ing a phone con­ver­sa­tion ear­lier that day, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

The woman told in­ves­ti­ga­tors she had been dat­ing Ed­wards on and off for sev­eral years and that Lewis “al­ways had a prob­lem” with Ed­wards.

The woman, ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers, told au­thor­i­ties Ed­wards and Wat­son were at the apart­ment while she was in the bed­room with her son when she heard gun­fire in the hall­way, in­ter­rupted by a threat from Lewis, and then addi- tional shots. The woman told de­tec­tives she hid in a closet, but was dis­cov­ered by Lewis, who threat­ened her be­fore strik­ing her in the head with the gun and drag­ging her from the closet by her hair.

The woman re­port­edly strug­gled with Lewis and was able to break away from him and flee the apart­ment. De­tec­tives ob­served in­juries to the woman con­sis­tent with her ac­count of the as­sault, court pa­pers in­di­cate.

De­tec­tives re­cov­ered six 9 mm shell cas­ings and an empty Glock 9 mm mag­a­zine in­side the apart­ment and 14 shell cas­ings of the same size and brand in the hall­way. Four bul­lets or bul­let frag­ments were re­cov­ered near the bod­ies, de­tec­tives al­leged.

Ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest af­fi­davit, bal­lis­tics ev­i­dence in­di­cated that shots were fired into the apart­ment while the door was closed. There was also a shoe im­pres­sion on the ex­te­rior of the door con­sis­tent with it hav­ing been kicked, de­tec­tives al­leged.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Obrian Stephen Lewis ar­rives dis­trict court af­ter be­ing charged with first­de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion to dou­ble homi­cide at Park Place Apart­ments in Nor­ris­town on Nov. 6, 2015.

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