New Trial Date Set in Twin Murder Case

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A new trial date is set for the Columbus teen accused of killing his twin brother last January. WOSU reports the new trial is scheduled for August 10.

19-year-old Derris Lewis will have to wait in jail another four-and-a-half months before he faces a new jury of his peers. His aggravated murder trial was declared a mistrial last week just one day after jurors began deliberations. A juror indicated she could not continue her duties following the death of her sister-in-law.

Although Lewis’s trial received a great deal of media coverage, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien is optimistic a neutral jury will be seated.

“I think in our modern society where people frequently will look to live in their own life and not pay that much attention to publicity relating to criminal cases unless it touches on their own life, their own family, their own neighborhood, that it’s not that difficult to select a jury that can be fair and impartial to both sides,” O’Brien said.

Both sides now have a second chance to present their cases. O’Brien said the prosecution has no plans to change its strategy.

“I believe the evidence is substantially the same and it was heard at the first trial. So it’s a matter of presenting it to a second jury,” he said.

The prosecution says a bloody palm print links Lewis to his brother’s murder.

Dennis Lewis was shot and bludgeoned in the head at his mother’s east side home during a robbery last January.

The defense says a group of masked men committed the crime, and says alibis put Lewis at home asleep during the time of the murder.

Lewis’s attorney could not be reached for comment.