Suspects have prior record

Published 7:37 pm Thursday, April 29, 2010

The two men held on capital murder charges without bond at the Dallas County Jail have histories with guns and drugs.

Brandon Lewis, 24, has never been convicted of a crime, according to his court-appointed attorney Ed Green.

Lewis was wanted in 2009 for assault, first-degree from a shooting that occurred in February. Authorities said Lewis was turned in by his victim, Omar Williams, who claimed Lewis shot him twice in the back in an altercation in Smokey City, an area in East Selma.

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In 2004 Lewis was a passenger in one of two vehicles involved in a shooting on Broad Street, during which three stray bullets pierced Pilcher-McBryde Drug Store and one entered the second floor of The Selma Times-Journal building.

Lewis was shot in the calf during the melee, the only person injured during the incident. No charges were filed against him in this incident.

Court records show John Jones Jr. pleaded guilty more than a year later to second-degree assault in the shooting.

Aaron Lawrence Harris is on probation from a previous conviction, according to his attorney Bruce Maddox.

On Sept. 9, 2006, members of the Selma Police Department Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at 2133 Eugene Ave., after receiving information about illegal drugs sold out of the residence.

The officer used a confidential informant to go inside and make a controlled buy from Aaron Harris. Harris was not at home when officers went into the house with a search warrant based on the buy.

Officers recovered illegal narcotics, a gun, scales, $21 and marijuana from inside a white Chevrolet Caprice parked in the yard. The Caprice was taken as evidence.

On Oct. 15, 2006, after a police officer spotted him at the Shell station on Broad Street, Harris was stopped in a black Chevrolet Caprice that had no tag, according to authorities. Michael Hunter, who is being sought now by Selma police, was a passenger in the car.

During the stop the officer asked Harris if he had guns or illegal drugs in the car. Harris told the officer he had a handgun between the front seats of the vehicle and gave the officer the handgun.

Authorities said Harris also gave the police officer permission to search the car for illegal drugs. When the officer opened the trunk, he smelled marijuana. He searched and found a black backpack in the trunk. Inside the backpack were large bags of marijuana, about 416 grams or 14.673 ounces, which about the size of a can of green beans.

Harris and Hunter were charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawfully carrying a pistol.

Authorities on Thursday were uncertain if Harris and Hunter served time in prison on these particular charges.

About a year ago, the city of Selma had to pay Harris for the two cars confiscated during the drug arrest and when officers searched his home. Condemnations were typed up, notarized and turned into the district attorney’s office, but civil summonses were not served on the defendants in a timely manner, so the condemnations cases were dismissed. Nobody kept track of the cars or condemnations because the drug unit had been disbanded.

A report prepared by police chief William Riley III said the vehicles had been moved from the police department alley and nobody kept track of who towed them and where they were taken.

Riley was not police chief when the arrests occurred. He has since changed the process of accepting evidence and logging it in at the police department.