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Grief-stricken family addresses killer of Fort Wayne man

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 7:54 am

A plea agreement had been reached, though not yet formally accepted in Allen Superior Court, in the shooting death of Christopher Mhoon.

Michael S. Lewis, 22, who shot and killed Mhoon in June as the result of a fight at a Cap n' Cork liquor store, was allowed to address the court, and through his attorney and in remarks himself, he apologized for what he had done and said he would show that a person could change.

Mhoon's grief-stricken family and loved ones, however, were still filled with pain from their loss – and during their turn to speak, they let Lewis know how they felt about the person Lewis had been and what he had done, not the person he could be.

The mother of Mhoon's children said they still ask where he is, and she reminded Lewis that the children will never know their father.

An aunt said she could barely make her remarks before telling Lewis, “Shame on you. You are not God. You can never be God. You should have let things be. Shame on you.”

Mhoon's mother had even more pointed remarks about Lewis' negotiated sentence – which Judge Fran Gull accepted and rendered: 30 years, with 25 to be executed and five years suspended with five years' probation – saying, “This is a slap on the wrist. Things need to change in our society.”

Gull, during her remarks, said the court empathized with both families for the loss of both men: Mhoon's death and Lewis' subsequent incarceration.

Lewis was given credit for 248 days served; with state policy mandating a day served equals two days of a sentence with good behavior, it is possible Lewis could be freed in roughly 10 years.

He pleaded guilty Jan. 16 to a single count of voluntary manslaughter after originally being charged with murder in the death of Mhoon, according to documents filed in Allen Superior Court. Lewis had ridden to the store with two other men June 8, according to the documents. When one of the men became involved in a fistfight with Mhoon inside the store, Lewis allegedly came in and shot Mhoon, police said in the documents.

Witnesses told police that Lewis continued to shoot as Mhoon fled the store, firing between five and seven shots, the documents said. Two witnesses later contacted police and identified Lewis, the documents said. Mhoon died at the scene.

Under state law, the minimum sentence for voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon, a Class A felony, is 20 years in prison.