Twin's Murder Case In Hands Of Jury


UPDATED: Thursday March 19, 2009 9:58 AM

Closing arguments were completed Wednesday and the fate of a teenager charged with killing his twin brother is now in the hands of a jury.

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

Dennis Lewis, 17, was killed during the early morning hours of Jan. 18, 2008 after a group of armed men made their way inside his mother's Loretta Avenue home and demanded money.

SLIDESHOW: Case Timeline

During the course of the trial, prosecutors relied heavily on a bloody palm print found at the scene of the murder, which investigators said was matched to Derris Lewis. Prosecutors forwarded the notion that Derris killed his brother over money.

"Murder between siblings is not an unknown event," said prosecutor Tim Mitchell during his closing statement. "There's even a word for it: it's called fratricide. The fact that they are twins may add some emotion and sentiment to the fratricide, but it doesn't change the fact pattern and it doesn't change the print on the wall."

During its closing statements, the defense downplayed the relevance of the prints.

"You have heard repeatedly about bloody palm print, bloody palm print, bloody palm print," the attorney said.  "Rich detail, rich detail, rich detail. I think if you say it enough and say it so many times it gets repeated you almost want to believe it.  What we need to do is we need to accept the fact that Derris Lewis' prints were expected to be in that house."

Throughout the trial defense attorneys called on witnesses who said that Derris Lewis was someplace else when the shooting occurred.  A roommate testified that he heard Derris receive a phone call from his sister the night of Dennis' death, informing him of the shooting.

The defense also accused police of failing to thoroughly investigate another teenager who may have participated in a robbery around the time of Dennis' death.

Members of the Lewis family have been outspoken in defending Derris.

April Lewis, the twins' mother, testified early in the trial that she did not think Derris had anything to do with his brother's death.

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

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Previous Stories:

March 18, 2009: Man Refuses To Testify In Lewis Trial
March 13, 2009: Confrontational Videotape Played At Teen's Murder Trial
March 12, 2009:  Lead Detective Takes Stand In Twin's Murder Trial
March 11, 2009: Crime Scene, Autopsy Photos Shown In Teen's Murder Trial
March 11, 2009: Mother Defends Son Accused In Twin's Slaying
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