Father sentenced to life in son’s murder

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A father found guilty of murder Thursday was sentenced to life in prison Friday by a Bowie County jury.

Benearl Jermane Lewis Jr., 25, was already forbidden to be alone with D’Money or his siblings under a Child Protective Services care plan when the boy sustained a fatal head injury and life-threatening internal injuries March 6.

Benearl Lewis was not supposed spend the night in the home with the children either. Witnesses testified that D’Money’s mother Khadijah Wright, 26, clocked in to her job at Mayo Manufacturing in Texarkana at approximately 7 a.m. March 6. Wright left her job in a hurry at about 2 p.m. after communicating with Benearl Lewis, Wake Village Interim Police Chief Todd Aultman testified at trial.

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Shortly before 4:30 p.m. Benearl Lewis pulled his SUV alongside a Texarkana, Texas, patrol car at the scene of a traffic accident on 7th Street. Benearl Lewis asked for a police escort to the hospital. Texarkana, Texas, officers called back to the scene a Texarkana, Texas, Fire Department truck and a LifeNet Ambulance which had left the scene just moments before.

First responders sprung into action and were able to get D’Money’s heart beating again but the damage to his brain was fatal. At Wadley Hospital testing showed D’Money’s brain was herniating into his spine as pressure built from swelling and bleeding inside the boy’s skull. Medical staff also discovered internal bleeding around D’Money’s liver and kidney, strap marks on his legs and bruises on many areas of his small body.

D’Money died a couple of days later at Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Benearl Lewis was indicted earlier this year for capital murder, felony murder and injury to a child. The jury found Benearl Lewis guilty of felony murder which means he may be eligible for parole after completing 30 years of his sentence.

Wright is scheduled for trial in December before 5th District Judge Bill Miller on a charge of injury to a child by omission in connection with D’Money’s death. She faces five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted.

Assistant District Attorneys Lauren Richards and Kelley Crisp, who prosecuted Benearl Lewis, are handling Wright’s case as well. Benearl Lewis was represented by Texarkana attorney Derric McFarland.

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