MURDER USA: Convicted Killer Markese Lewis charged with attempted murder of Virginia State Trooper after crashing into house
HAMPTON, Va. – Markese Lewis was convicted of manslaughter after killing a teenager in a gunfight between gangs in 2009 and now he stands charged with attempted murder of a Virginia trooper – which could have been averted had a jury nailed him on first-degree murder charges when they had the chance.
Virginia State Police report that an ex-con from Newport News, Va., is being held on multiple charges after he fled from a Virginia State Police trooper and then shot at the trooper in the City of Hampton Saturday night (May 14, 2016). Virginia State Police have charged Markese L. Lewis, 27, with attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, one felony count of eluding law enforcement, reckless driving, one felony count of hit and run, driving on a suspended license, and for failing to wear a seat belt. Lewis is being held without bond at the City of Hampton Jail.
The incident began at approximately 6:49 p.m. Saturday, when a Virginia State Police trooper observed a 2002 Ford Explorer almost strike another vehicle while traveling north on Armistead Avenue near the Interstate 64 ramp in the City of Hampton. When the Explorer refused to stop for the trooper and instead got onto the I-64 ramp heading west, a pursuit was initiated. At one point, the Explorer fled from the trooper using the right shoulder to get around traffic and then abruptly stopped on the shoulder. As the trooper pulled up behind, the Explorer sped away a second time and took the ramp for I-664 west. The Explorer exited the interstate at Powhatan Parkway at a high rate of speed.
As the pursuit continued, the Ford Explorer ran off the road and struck a residence at Briarfield Road and Glenrock Drive. When the trooper pulled his marked blue-and-gray patrol car up to the stopped suspect vehicle, Lewis exited the SUV and began shooting at the trooper. The trooper was not injured, but his patrol car was struck several times.
Lewis then fled the scene on foot. The trooper exited his patrol car and pursued Lewis on foot. Hampton Police responded to assist the trooper in searching for the suspect. During that process a Hampton Police officer encountered Lewis and while attempting to take him into custody a single shot was fired by the officer. There were no injuries to any parties involved. Lewis was apprehended one street over on Briar Drive shortly after 7 p.m.
Hampton Police is conducting an internal and criminal investigation regarding the single shot that was fired by the Hampton Police Officer.
Lewis murdered a man at a gang fight in 2009 and a jury convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter – showing that they got it wrong and should have gone with the option of first-degree murder and kept his felonious hide locked up in prison for life.
This article from the Daily Press on Oct. 16, 2009, recites the outcome of his trial on murder charges:
Man May Receive 7 Years in Slaying
October 16, 2009
NEWPORT NEWS — A Newport News man was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter Thursday in the killing of a 15-year-old boy last year, with a Circuit Court jury recommending he serve seven years behind bars.
Markese L. Lewis, 20, was accused by prosecutors of first-degree murder in the slaying of Demyon Gathers, a student at Menchville High School, a year ago to the day Thursday.
After a two-day trial, the 12-member jury had to select from four options: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or not guilty.
The jury opted for the manslaughter charge after two hours of deliberations. It deliberated another hour on the sentence.
Gathers and Lewis – who didn’t know each other – were among about 50 people at Newsome Park that afternoon witnessing a fight between girls from rival gangs. Shots rang out after the fight ended.
The prosecutors – Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Cindy A. Clenney and Artisha K. Todd – said Gathers, who was unarmed, was shot in a longstanding turf battle between rival groups.
They said Lewis shot at a group of about seven people from one direction while another shooter opened fire from the opposite direction.
Gathers, who was standing in the group, was killed.
“This was a set-up,” Clenney said. Lewis and others “were acting in concert with one another.”
But Lewis and his attorney, James Ellenson, had a different explanation.
Lewis testified that he had gone to the park to buy marijuana and wasn’t part of a turf war.
He said he was walking away from the park when he heard gunshots ring out close behind him.
Lewis turned around, he said, and saw several men “running toward” him. That’s when he noticed that one – and maybe two – of the men was armed, with another going to his waist, Lewis said.
“I froze,” he testified. “I believed they were shooting at me because I was the closest one in that area. I didn’t really know what to do. I thought they were going to run up on me.”
Lewis said he fired at “the dude in a green shirt” – one of the men he said was armed – then “took off running,” shooting another two rounds over his shoulder.
Medical experts testified that Gathers was shot once in the chest with a .38-caliber handgun, the kind of gun Lewis was firing.
Lewis told police during a prior interrogation that if Gathers was shot from the front – which he was – then Lewis might have fired that shot.
But during his testimony Thursday, Lewis said, “I know I didn’t shoot him” because he was aiming at the other side of the group. But he offered no other explanation as to who shot Gathers. MORE