Twin brother accused of murder due in court Friday morning

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The lawyer representing the East Side teen accused of killing his twin brother appeared in juvenile court this morning. 18-year-old Derris Lewis faces murder and other charges in connection with last month’s shooting death of Dennis Lewis. Police still are not saying much about the case.

Family and friends of Derris Lewis had nothing to say about the charges he faces as they filed out of the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.

Columbus police arrested Lewis Wednesday – about a month after the murder of his twin brother.

Lewis is charged with one count of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of kidnapping. Dennis was shot while protecting his mother, who has cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, during a robbery at their Loretta Avenue home January 18.

There remain many unanswered questions about why police arrested Lewis. Investigators say physical evidence at the crime scene and statements following the murder led them to Lewis. Police say they do not know if Lewis fired the gun that killed Dennis.

Herbert “J.R.” Stirtmire lives just a few houses down from where the murder took place. Stirtmire said Lewis’s arrest comes as a shock to him. He said he has seen Lewis interacting with family in the past like most families do.

“Watching them growing up in the neighborhood I would never think that something as plausible as one taking the other one’s life would happen, but you know history teaches in even in the Bible, Cain and Abel, brothers are something else,” Stirtmire said.

Stirtmire said he will have to hear what kind of evidence police have before he believes Lewis was involved in the murder.

Some answers could come at a probable cause hearing set for Friday. The hearing will also determine if Lewis will be tried as an adult. Juvenile Magistrate Woodrow Hudson ordered Lewis remain in juvenile detention until the hearing.

Dennis Lewis’s murder upset much of the Linden community last month. Dennis was eulogized as a promising young man who was a member of the National Honor Society, played in the East High School Marching Band and did various other community services like tutoring.

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