Charges Dropped Against Teen Accused of Murdering Twin Brother

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The Linden-area teen who went to trial for killing his twin brother last January was set free Thursday afternoon. After additional testing was completed all charges were dropped.

After a mistrial in March 19-year-old Derris Lewis set to go to trial again for the murder of his twin brother Dennis. Instead, he was released from the Franklin County Jail on South Front Street after spending almost 18 months behind bars. Lewis was accused of shooting his twin during a home invasion in January 2008.

“I would certainly say on behalf of the system that I would apologize for the confinement where the charges are dropped,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said.

O’Brien said his office requested further testing of its key evidence, a quote unquote bloody palm print, after two expert witnesses gave conflicting testimonies during the first trial. One expert said the print was in blood, the other said it was above it.

O’Brien said testing showed the print belonged to Lewis, but there was no presence of blood on the print.

Lewis at one time had lived in the house and he used to visit his brother often. O’Brien says the mistake was made during the murder investigation.

“They did everything pretty much correctly other than the miscommunication about where the print was located on the wall and what substance it was located in,” he said.

Lewis faced life in prison is he had been convicted. Attempts to reach Lewis at his mother’s home were unsuccessful.