Judge Rejects Lewis’ Plea; Attorney Files Appeal

first_img A DeKalb County Superior Court judge recently rejected a plea deal involving former DeKalb Superintendent Crawford Lewis. The County District Attorney charged Lewis and two others with racketeering. Judge Cynthia Becker’s decision means the case may not end any time soon.Hear the broadcast version of this story.1:50The deal allowed Lewis to plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge in exchange for testifying against co-defendants Pat Reid and her ex-husband, Tony Pope. Lewis would also receive 12 months’ probation instead of jail time.Judge Becker sentenced Reid and Pope to 15 and 8 years in prison respectively. But she rejected Lewis’ plea and sentenced him to a year in prison. Lewis’ attorney, Michael Brown, was surprised. He says Judge Becker agreed to the terms of the plea before sentencing:“We think that when the District Attorney said that she would accept the recommendation and the judge didn’t challenge that, that confirmed everyone’s understanding that she would accept the recommendation,” Brown said. “So, we are disappointed.”But Atlanta criminal attorney Steve Sadow says the agreement had a reservation clause that said Lewis’ testimony had to be truthful.“The judge, upon hearing his testimony and at the time of sentencing said, ‘I don’t think you have been truthful and, therefore, I am not bound to follow the recommendation that has been agreed to by the parties and presented to the court,’” Sadow says.  Now, it’s unclear when the case will wrap up. Brown is appealing Judge Becker’s decision. Sadow says the appellate court will examine the plea agreement.  “The court of appeals is going to be looking to see whether or not it was clear to the defendant, to Crawford Lewis, that his 12-months’ probation was not a done deal, that there was a caveat, [the] caveat being truthfulness,” he says.  But Brown says it will be about 60 days before the court decides whether to hear the appeal. He says a ruling could take a lot longer than that.“We think if they grant it, the overall resolution could take at least a year for the court to ultimately make a decision.”Until then, Lewis is out on bond.DeKalb District Attorney Robert James had no comment on the case.  Share Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility 1:50 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List Related Stories ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party For Whom The Bell Rings last_img read more