The Times West Virginian

Local News

October 31, 2013

Bond request for Lewis is denied

No more hearings in case of infant’s death set until Taylor grand jury convenes

FAIRMONT — The Marion County man charged with the first-degree homicide of a Taylor County infant will remain incarcerated at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail without bond.

A bond request for Marcus Curtis Lewis was denied Tuesday by Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats in a pretrial hearing at the Taylor County Courthouse in Grafton.

Lewis, 54, of Carolina, was arrested Oct. 18 in Marion County and has been charged with “murder of a child by refusal/failure to supply necessities” in the death of his biological child, a 2 1/2-month-old male infant on Oct. 13. The infant had been born in August.

John Bord, Taylor County prosecuting attorney, filed motions to obtain records from the circuit clerks of Harrison, Marion and Taylor counties, and for cellphone records of Lewis and the mother of the deceased infant.

“We’re looking to see if there are any domestic violence petitions filed between Mr. Lewis and (the infant’s mother) or anybody else,” Bord said.

Lewis’ case had been bound over to the grand jury after a hearing in front of Taylor County Magistrate James Lucas on Oct. 25.

According to the criminal complaint filed at Taylor County Magistrate Court, on Oct. 12 Lewis went to the Boothsville area residence of the woman with whom he shared a 3-year-old daughter to put together a baby bed for the girl.

The mother left to go shopping, leaving him to watch the girl and the infant.

He texted the girl’s mother at 7:51 p.m. that she “was out of control” and had jumped onto the infant.

The infant cried briefly, he said, and then stopped crying and eating. Lewis found the infant unresponsive when he checked on him 6 1/2 hours later. He called 911 at 2:23 a.m. Oct. 13, reporting an injured infant.

The baby was taken to United Hospital Center by EMS, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Lewis is represented by court-appointed attorney Roger Curry of Marion County.

“We’re still making determinations exactly where the mother was,” Bord said. “She is not being charged with anything right now.”

He said he doesn’t know if the daughter is still with her mother or where the mother is now.

“I’m assuming she’s still in Taylor County,” he said. He had no comment on if charges are pending against her.

He said he and an investigating officer plan to meet with the medical examiner once they get a copy of the infant’s autopsy.

An autopsy conducted by the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the infant’s death was a homicide. The baby had died of subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain. There were no outward signs of abuse on the body, such as bruising or scratching, to show any physical abuse before death, the complaint states.

It also concluded that the 3-year-old girl was too small to have caused such severe injuries.

The medical examiner determined that the baby died approximately two hours after the incident had taken place.

Bord said the prosecution has already gathered 300-400 pages of documents for discovery.

“The next step is determining what to charge him with and present that to the grand jury,” Bord said. That will happen once he obtains the circuit clerk and cellphone records and the autopsy report.

No more hearings are scheduled for Lewis until the Taylor County grand jury convenes in January 2014, he said. Lewis is expected to be arraigned that week.

Lewis was arrested at his Carolina home on Oct. 18. The Taylor County Sheriff’s Department originated the warrant, while the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the Bridgeport and Fairmont detach­ments of the West Virginia State Police served the warrant.

He was evening custodian at Monongah Elementary, Marion County Superintendent Gary Price said.

According to files at the Marion County Magistrate Court and the West Virginia North Central Regional Jail site, Lewis has had previous charges.

He was arrested May 29, 2013, for felony burglary, daytime breaking and entering; on March 26, 2012, on felony charges; and March 26, 2011, on misdemeanor charges.

His trial for the May charges is scheduled on the docket call for Marion County for November.

Email Debra Minor Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.

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