Houston & Peach

Alleged contract killing trial starts Tuesday in Houston County

PERRY -- Opening statements are expected Tuesday morning in the Houston County trial of a Cordele man accused of arranging a contract killing that went awry.

Devasko Dewayne Lewis, 36, is on trial on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit murder in the Jan. 14, 2014, slaying of Kerry Glenn behind a manufactured home near Perry. Lewis pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

The convicted shooter whom he’s accused of hiring, Jamarcus Akeem Clark, 24, of Ashburn, is serving a life sentence in prison after pleading guilty to the killing. Clark is expected to testify against Lewis.

A jury was seated late Monday afternoon.

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

Authorities allege Lewis was going to pay Clark to take out Daniels. But Glenn, who had only recently started staying with Daniels, was mistakenly killed instead. Glenn was shot once in the back of the head.

The defense for Lewis rejects the prosecution’s theory of a contract killing, arguing in part that the federal charges against Lewis are relatively minor.

Franklin J. Hogue, a Macon attorney representing Lewis, has argued in previous hearings that the prosecution’s case hinges on testimony from Clark. Hogue contended that Clark admitted to shooting Glenn and then later told authorities Lewis hired him.

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

In May 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Lewis on charges of making false statements and conspiring to continue operating his trucking company after he was ordered to cease. That case has been put on hold because of the Houston County case.