Will Lewis Trial

Day 4

Emily Gill
October 22, 2019 - 9:46 am

Emily Gill

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Closing arguments have concluded and the jury is now set to deliberate.

Lewis took the stand again today. He expressed regret over his affair but stood by his assertion that he had done nothing wrong.

The jury was sent back just after 5 pm.

Prosecutors allege Lewis paid Nabors an excessive salary and provided her with other perks as enticement for the affair.

 

Recap of Day 3:

[WORD: Roger Davis]  Suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis will continue his testimony during the fourth day of his trial in Greenville Thursday.

On Wednesday, Lewis took the stand in his own defense, Ultimately, it’s two charges of misconduct in office that this jury is considering.

The state said he used public funds to plan the out of state trip to have an affair with his then-assistant Savannah Nabors.  On the stand Wednesday, Lewis admitted what he did was wrong but it wasn’t misconduct.  Roger Davis contributed to this story

[WORD: Evan Smith]  Will Lewis has taken the stand. He is defending himself against claims that he gave Savannah Nabors’ special treatment, including bringing her to crime scenes.

Lewis said her responsibility was to “take notes” at the crime scenes, despite her lack of training in that regard.

“Most people had specialized training and had been here for awhile,” he admitted. When a prosecutor asked for confirmation that she was chosen to be his “right hand man” on cases without training, Lewis replied simply: “yes.”

“We would have conversations behind closed doors that didn’t need to get out. That’s one important thing she did,” he said.

Later a recording of Lewis pleading with Savannah, asking her not to leave him, was played to the courtroom.

Lewis said in the recording, “I just can’t do it anymore. Everything I do is wrong in one way or another. I can’t go there. So – I mean as much as it would absolutely destroy me – I mean it really would, I told you I mean what I say – I would trade all of my command staff members for you. I would do it in a heartbeat.”

Lewis responded to the playing of the tape by saying, “We had a close personal working relationship and unfortunately at the time I had the affair. A lot of that was a combination of having had the affair and the close personal working relationship.”

The prosecutor noted that Lewis was betraying his command staff by making such a claim. Lewis said he was clouded with poor judgment.

The prosecutor then asked if Lewis had been still trying to pursue Nabors romantically at the time of the recording.

Lewis replied: “I’d like to say no, and that I wasn’t trying to pursue her, but it sure does sound like it. You know, again, I’d like to say no. I don’t know what my mindset was at that given moment, but what it sounds like… I’m not going to run from the fact that I had an affair, okay? I’m not running from it. I made a horrible, horrible decision. I made a decision to pursue a woman who was not my wife. I can only ask forgiveness for that.”  Evan Smith contributed to this story 

 

Recap of Day 2:

Former Lewis Assistant, Savannah Nabors, spent about four hours on the stand Tuesday testifying about the 2017 business trip she accompanied Lewis on in Charlotte.

The purpose of that trip was a budget meeting. 

Nabors testified that Lewis sexually assaulted her in a hotel room during that stay.

Testimony was also heard from Greenville County's' Chief Deputy Marcus Davenport and Deputy Administrator John Hansley, both of whom were present during the Charlotte business meeting. 

Davenport testified that the group had gone out together to an Irish pub and a club, later returning to the hotel. 

All had ridden the elevator together, but Davenport exited before Lewis and Nabors and did not see either one till the next morning. 

Hansley testified something amiss with Lewis' and Nabors interaction. 

 

Recap of Day 1:

The trial of Suspended Greenville Sheriff Will Lewis resumed today.

The majority of Day 1 of the trial focused on jury selection. Of the 85 potential jurors, 9 men and 5 women were selected to serve.  

Amy Lewis, wife of Will Lewis, sat to the left of her at husband at the table along with defense attorney Rauch Wise.

Solicitor for the 16th Circuit Kevin Brackett suggested  she sit two rows back as the closeness may sway the jury and evoke sympathy. 

Judge Thomas Cooper said he would, "keep an eye on it."

Day 1 unveiled the many perks Savannah Nabors received while serving as Lewis's Assistant - a new car, trips, present at crime scenes, also participating in SWAT Team excursions.

Perks aside,  Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson did remind the jury their responsibility is to decide if Lewis misused his power as Sheriff in pursuit of an adulterous relationship.

Will Lewis faces 13 charges.

As for today, things heated up, as Savanah Nabors took the stand, giving an emotional testimony, saying Lewis had told her “What happens in Charlotte, stays in Charlotte” regarding her alleged sexual assault.

Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Marcus Davenport also took the stand, saying he was on that trip to Charlotte. He said they had all gone to an Irish Pub and then to a night club, but had only stayed for a brief period of time, before returning to the hotel. He said they all rode the elevator as a group, but that he exited before Lewis and Nabors. He said he next saw them in the morning.

Saying he noticed nothing out of the ordinary in their mannerisms the next day, Davenport confirmed he had no knowledge of any assault having taken place.

Another person who took the stand who on been on the Charlotte trip, Greenville Deputy County Administrator John Hansley, said he didn’t expect to see Nabors in Charlotte at all. Hansley recounted that he later told his wife how the interactions between Lewis and Nabors was odd, likening it to a cheerleader and the star quarterback. Stay with 106.3 WORD as we continue coverage of the ongoing trial.

Emily Gill

Emily Gill

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