On Tuesday, a jury convicted Roman T. Lewis, 46, of Sherman, of possession of methamphetamine in an amount of one gram or more but less than four grams. Lewis elected to be sentenced by 59th District Judge Rayburn Nall, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown released a prepared statement that said the case began on Sept. 27, 2015, at approximately 2:30 a.m., when Sherman Police officers were dispatched to the Executive Inn on Texoma Parkway on the report of a large altercation taking place in the parking lot.
Officer Jonathan Harris approached the parking lot and observed Lewis, acting suspiciously and carrying a black backpack. The officer also observed a woman standing outside her room pointing at Lewis, indicating he was somehow involved with the altercation. As Harris approached Lewis on the second floor balcony of the motel to investigate, Lewis suddenly threw down the backpack and denied ownership of the bag, claiming it belonged to a friend. Harris testified that Lewis was acting erratically and showed signs of being high on methamphetamine.
As Officer Jamie Bunetto attempted to search the bag, Lewis suddenly began to strike himself in the face and grunt and grind his teeth. Lewis then vaulted over the balcony railing down onto a vehicle below, crushing the vehicle’s hood. Lewis was immediately apprehended and a search of the backpack yielded a meth pipe, scales and a baggie of methamphetamine.
After closing arguments, jurors took just 20 minutes to convict Lewis.
Prosecutors introduced evidence that Lewis had multiple prior convictions and had on three occasions been to prison for prior crimes, including an eight year sentence for burglary and a 15 year sentence in 1994 for aggravated robbery.
“The long sentence was because of Lewis’ criminal history,” Brown said in the statement. “The minimum sentence was 25 years, because of those prior convictions. He is one of those that just never stopped the criminal behavior.”
The sentencing range in the case was 25 years to life because of the two prior prison sentences.
Roman Lewis was represented by Sherman attorney Barry Rubarts, who said his client, who did not take the stand, is planning to both ask for a new trial and appeal. Rubarts said both would be based on the amount of drugs the prosecution said his client had. Rubarts said he had an expert weigh the evidence and that expert found the evidence had a net weight of 1.024 grams, which would have meant the minimum sentence for his client would have fallen in the two year range, rather than the 25 to life range. Rubarts said he objected to the prosecution using the weight of 1.24 grams and his objections was overruled.