Mother Defends Son Accused In Twin's Slaying


UPDATED: Wednesday March 11, 2009 12:34 PM

Testimony began Tuesday afternoon in the trial of a teenager accused of killing his twin brother.

Derris Lewis, 19, faces aggravated murder and other charges in connection with the shooting death of his brother, Dennis Lewis.

Dennis Lewis was killed during the early morning hours of Jan. 18, 2008 when a group of armed men stormed into his mother's home.  Derris Lewis was charged after investigators said a bloody palm print found on a wall linked him to the murder scene.

SLIDESHOW: Images Of Dennis Lewis, Crime Scene

During opening statements on Tuesday, prosecutors wasted no time in bringing up the the bloody palm print.

"On one of the walls near the scene, in blood that has been tested to be either Derris' or Dennis', like I said, they cannot tell, they find the right palm print of the defendant, Derris Lewis," said prosecuting attorney Tim Mitchel.

Defense attorneys, meanwhile, raised the possibility that police failed to investigate a mystery gunman who was arrested a day after the shooting and admitted to committing a robbery the night before, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

The defense claimed that the man dated a girl who lived two blocks from the Lewis home.

Derris Lewis wiped tears from his eyes as his mother, April Lewis, offered emotional testimony about the night of the shooting, Kocot reported.

"I said, 'Who are you?' and he said, 'Where's the money?" said April Lewis. "I said, 'What money? We don't have no money.'"

April Lewis told the court that the intruders kicked in Dennis' bedroom door and then she heard a struggle. Then, she said, she heard a gunshot.

"They shot him for no reason," April Lewis said. "He was going to college."

April Lewis told prosecutors that Derris had nothing to do with his brother's slaying.

"It's crazy, how could that happen?" April Lewis asked. "They loved each other."

Defense attorneys are expected to call witnesses that will testify that Derris Lewis was someplace else when his brother was slain.

Last week, an alibi motion was filed with the court, saying there were witnesses that could testify that Derris Lewis was at a south side home when the shooting occurred.

Members of the Lewis family have been outspoken in defending Derris, saying that he was falsely accused and would be proven innocent during the trial.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

March 9, 2009: Trial Begins For Teen Accused In Twin Brother's Death
February 20, 2008: Warrant Reveals Evidence In Slaying
March 2, 2008:  Family Defends Twin Accused In Brother's Death
Feb. 14, 2008:  Twin Charged In Brother's Death
February 13, 2008: Twin Arrested, Charged With Brother's Slaying
January 24, 2008:  Family, Friends Bid Farewell To Slain Teenager
January 20, 2008:  Police:  Men Break Into Home, Killing Teen