A new person may soon be facing charges from a 2011 home invasion that left one gunman and the resident dead.
Aaron Lewis was supposed to go to trial April 1 on murder, first-degree burglary and persistent felony offender charges for the May 23, 2011 death of Philip Howard, Jr.
Lewis’ attorney Kyle Morris said Thursday in Clark Circuit Court that he was notified by prosecutors that they would be taking information to the grand jury about a potential new suspect in the case, and that it may happen in the next couple months. Based on that information, and the possible effect on the existing case, Morris asked for the continuance. Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse granted the motion, and rescheduled the trial for Aug. 4.
Lewis is the only person who has been charged with Howard’s death. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Charles Johnson declined to comment on the new information after court adjourned.
Prosecutors gave notice previously that they would seek the death penalty against Lewis when the case does go to trial. Lewis was listed on a February court docket as being ready to enter a guilty plea, but it never occurred.
Police believe Lewis and Demontez Cowherd arrived at Howard’s duplex on Redwing Drive shortly after 1 a.m. May 23, 2011. Neighbors reported hearing gunshots and saw a man running through the neighborhood.
In a previous court hearing, police said both Cowherd and Howard were found inside the home, both with gunshot wounds, when they arrived. While Cowherd never regained consciousness, Howard told officers that he was in bed and two men forced their way into his home, said they were the police and started shooting. Police said the door was secured by an inside brace and that the door frame was broken. He also told police that he returned fire.
Howard later died at Clark Regional Medical Center with a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. Cowherd was shot twice and died at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
About 20 minutes after the shooting was reported, Lewis was left in the emergency room at St. Joseph East Hospital in Lexington by an unidentified person. Lewis had been shot as well, but said it happened in Lexington near Tates Creek Road. Winchester Police Capt. James Hall said dispatchers in Lexington received no calls of shots being fired that night.
Lewis also said he hadn’t been in Winchester in years, but phone records indicated that Lewis’ phone accessed two cell towers in Winchester minutes before the shooting. Detectives also found Cowherd’s phone number in Lewis’ phone.
Lewis remains incarcerated in the Clark County Detention Center.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.