The ex-con who is accused of shooting and injuring a Charlotte police officer in Fort Mill last January will appear in federal court Wednesday. The shooting has been described by a judge and prosecutors as an “ambush.”
If convicted, James William Lewis, age 33, could potentially spend the rest of his life in prison.
Lewis, who had been homeless, is accused of shooting Officer Shane Page on Jan. 7, 2014 when Page and other police officers were trying to arrest him on armed burglary charges. Those charges stemmed from a robbery of a Pineville, N.C. restaurant where Lewis once worked.
Lewis’s girlfriend, Kirstie Barratt, age 23, was sentenced to two years prison and likely will be deported to her native England after pleading guilty to lying to Page and other officers about Lewis being in her parent’s house in Fort Mill when they came to arrest him.
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Authorities said Barratt repeatedly told officers who were part of a local, state and federal violent felon pick-up team that Lewis was not inside. But, she gave them consent to search the house, and she even removed a dog from her bedroom.
When Page went into the bedroom searching for Lewis, he was lying in wait and shot the officer, according to previous court testimony from Barratt’s case.
Barratt admitted in court that Lewis was hiding in the home and he was supposed to be in the eaves under the attic, but instead he was waiting in the bedroom with a gun when she went in the bedroom to retrieve the dog.
Both a federal judge and prosecutor have called the shooting of Page an “ambush.”
Lewis, who allegedly bragged about the robbery and said he would rather die than go back to prison, was shot himself during last January and was taken into custody. He has been in jail ever since. His lawyer has claimed Lewis was insane at the time of the shooting and Lewis has undergone a mental competency review ordered by the court.
Page left police work after 18 years of service. He was recovering from being shot in the abdomen, pelvis, and shoulder.
Lewis, barred by state and federal law from possessing a gun, was sentenced to nine years in prison last month for the robbery in federal court in North Carolina. He still faces federal charges for the shooting.
More, police in York County have warrants against Lewis charging him with attempted murder and weapons charges although those warrants have never been served because Lewis has been in federal custody since the shooting.
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065