July 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 87 F

New witness leads to murder plea bargain and 60 years

Gregory Dontae Lewis
Gregory Dontae Lewis

The development of a new witness by prosecutors led Gregory Lewis to plead guilty Monday to First-Degree Murder and Armed Robbery for the October 2013 killing of 44-year-old Rene Leiva-Archila, State’s Attorney Wes Adams announced. 

“I want to commend Deputy State’s Attorney Jonathan Church and Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Knight for their work on this case,” Mr. Adams said. “They stepped in as lead counsel on their first day in this office and after reviewing the case file, they developed an additional witness which dramatically increased the strength of this case resulting in the defendant agreeing to plead guilty and to accept 60 years in jail.

“Proper pre-trial investigation is essential to developing the type of strong prosecutions which will keep our communities safe. The 60-year sentence in this case will keep the defendant in jail well into his 90s.”

On October 31, 2013, Anne Arundel County police were called to a parking lot in the 7400 block of Railroad Avenue at 7:45 p.m. for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located Mr. Leiva-Archila of Baltimore suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigation revealed the Mr. Leiva-Archila and his 19-year-old son were lured to the parking lot by a fictional Craigslist ad to purchase a car. When they arrived, Lewis announced a robbery and shot Mr. Leiva-Archila. His son fled the scene on foot and called police.

Through cell phone and computer records, detectives were able to link Lewis to the crime. On March 7, 2014, detectives located Lewis in a parking lot in Glen Burnie. He was taken into custody without incident.

As part of the plea agreement, Lewis, 35, of Millersville, will be sentenced to Life in Prison with all but 60 years suspended. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 18.

Mr. Adams thanked Anne Arundel County Police Department homicide detectives for their hard work in helping the State’s Attorney’s Office develop this case.

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