Bond denied for man charged in botched murder for hire

bpurser@macon.comFebruary 20, 2014 

PERRY -- Bond was denied Thursday for a Cordele man accused of a contract killing gone awry.

Devasko Dewayne Lewis, 35, of Cordele, and Jamarcus Akeem Clark, 23, of Ashburn, were charged with murder in the Jan. 14 slaying of Kerry Glenn behind a manufactured home near Perry.

Glenn was the nephew of Corey Daniels, a co-defendant in a federal trucking case who cut a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against Lewis.

District Attorney George Hartwig said at Lewis’ bond hearing that authorities believe Lewis was going to pay Clark to take out Daniels. But Glenn, who had only recently started staying with Daniels, was killed instead.

“He just happened to be at that house and as a result ended up with a bullet in the back of his head,” Hartwig said.

Also, although Lewis has not yet been charged in a related incident in Perry a few days before the killing, Hartwig said he expects to seek charges of conspiracy to commit murder or attempted murder against Lewis.

In that incident on Jewell Drive, Clark is accused of knocking on the front door, hearing Daniels’ mother answer and then firing at least two shots through the front door, Hartwig said. No one was hurt, though.

Franklin J. Hogue, a Macon attorney representing Lewis, argued that Lewis is presumed not guilty, and allegations against him should not be considered as grounds to deny bond.

“If they can prove that down the road, let them try,” Hogue said.

Hogue said the prosecution’s case hinges on testimony from Clark, who Hogue said admitted to shooting Glenn and then later told authorities that Lewis hired him.

Authorities have no evidence that money was exchanged between the two, Hogue said. But Hartwig argued that a video taken outside a convenience store the same day that Glenn was killed allegedly shows Lewis giving Clark the vehicle that Clark drove to Perry for the slaying.

Jerome Troutman, a Dooly County sheriff’s lieutenant and longtime friend of Lewis, testified that he believes Lewis would make his court appearances, would not interact with witnesses and was not likely to commit other crimes. He also said he would be willing to help Lewis make bond.

Superior Court Judge George Nunn found that Lewis was a risk to re-offend -- noting prior felonies and that Lewis was on a federal bond when charged in Glenn’s slaying.

Earlier, Hogue told Nunn that federal authorities have not moved to revoke Lewis’ bond. Hogue said that’s likely because the Houston County case would have to be tried first and because Lewis has been jailed in connection with the Glenn slaying.

Hogue described the federal case as involving “minor felonies.”

Lewis is facing six months to a year based on state sentencing guidelines, Hogue said. According to federal prosecutors, the maximum prison time Lewis could face is five years in prison if convicted.

A federal grand jury indicted Lewis on May 16 on charges of making false statements and conspiring to continue operating his trucking company after he was ordered to cease, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Macon.

Lewis, who ran Lewis Trucking, was told to stop operations under an order issued in October 2008 by a branch of the Department of Transportation. The order was issued based on safety issues and other irregularities.

Lewis is accused of violating the order by continuing to operate commercial motor vehicles and concealing his true involvement by filing applications for Department of Motor Carrier numbers under names other than his own.

During the bond hearing, Hogue said there was a serious accident in 2008 resulting in deaths that placed Lewis’ trucking company under the scrutiny of the Department of Transportation.

Lewis was “just about run out of business,” Hogue said.

When he was ordered to stop operations, Lewis continued operating and served a short stint in prison under similar charges he’s now facing. The current allegations against him are that he continued to run his trucking business from prison through another man, Hogue said. The federal case is pending.

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