Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Attempted Murderer Only Gets 15 Years in Plea Agreement

The State of Florida had 4 felony cases against Raymond Lewis, Jr. for numerous crimes last year. His run ins with the law began 3/11/08 when, after arguing with his girlfriend, he hunted her down and fired at her and 6 other people. Thankfully, no one was wounded. On 5/15, he was granted bond by Judge Bob LeBlanc in the amount of $11,500 for 7 counts of Aggravated Assault w/Deadly Weapon and 1 count of Shooting from Vehicle. He posted bond on 5/21/09 and was put on Home Confinement.

On 7/30/08 he was charged with Grand Theft of equipment relating to his home confinement and could not be located. On 8/2/08 he attempted to murder his girlfriend by shooting her in the chest (she survived). A capias for his arrest was issued and he was subsequently apprehended on 8/16/08 - but not before adding charges of Robbery w/Firearm, Carjacking, Aggravated Fleeing/Attempting to Elude & Resisting Officer w/o Violence relating to a chase where he totaled the vehicle he was driving.

The Attempted Murder charge should have won a sentence of 25 years in prison for possession & discharge of a firearm. The State knocked this charge down to 15 years (amending the charges to merely possessing the firearm) in their plea agreement with Defense Counsel. A 10-yr minimum mandatory term is included in the 15 years. All the other charges to which Lewis pled were also 15 years or less and run concurrently to this Attempted Murder charge. State Attorneys Benjamin Kashi & Marlene Wells represented to the Court that all the victims were agreeable to this resolution.

Raymond Lewis, Jr. is now 24 years old. His sentencing points (a measure of his criminal record & the severity of his crimes) totaled a staggering 412.6 points. From what I've observed in other cases, it seems as though each point is worth a month. So based on points, his sentence should be approximately 34 years.

Mr. Lewis, in my opinion, got off too easy. Are our resources so strained that we can't effectively prosecute someone like this to the fullest extent of the law? Not knowing whether or not the victims were cooperative, it's hard for me to know why the State would agree to this plea. But I shudder to think of the danger he'll pose to our community when he is released in 10-15 years.

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