MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - After four weeks of testimony about drugs and murder, the government finally rested its case against two accused hit men, Martin and Clinton Lewis. The two cousins are accused of being contract killers for drug lord Craig Petties.
The jury has heard details about six murders; they've seen boxes full of cocaine. Federal prosecutors are hoping they've offered enough proof to keep the Lewises behind bars for the rest of their lives.
Friday, March 9 was a quiet day at the federal building, a day off for the jury while the defense gets its case ready. The government took four weeks trying to prove that Martin and Clinton Lewis are not only guilty of conspiracy, money laundering and racketeering, but murder as well.
The jurors heard details from drug dealers about murder and mayhem in Memphis organized by the Petties drug gang. Men were killed for stealing drugs, making threats, one tortured to death for information. The anonymous jury saw photos of each of the dead bodies, including the two the Lewises are accused of killing, Mario McNeal and Marcus Turner.
The government rested its case by piling up boxes of cocaine in front of jurors, the result of just one bust by the DEA.
The biggest struggle the government has is the inconsistencies of its witnesses' statements. All the former drug dealers who took the stand did so because they are hoping for plea deals that will get them out of prison early. Defense lawyers pointed that out time and time again. Now the question is, who will the jury believe?
The defense will begin its case on March 12. They are expected to have closing arguments the following week.