The North Carolina ex-con who boasted he would never go back to prison before shooting a Charlotte police officer in a Fort Mill ambush in 2014 was sentenced Wednesday to an additional 25 years in prison.
James William Lewis, 33, who has prior convictions for drugs and car theft, will serve a total 34 years in custody, yet had been facing up to life in prison after he ambushed Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Shane Page on Jan. 7, 2014 when Lewis was hiding at his girlfriend’s home in Fort Mill. The girlfriend, Kirstie Barratt, 23, also served about a year of federal prison time for lying to officers and leading them into the ambush where Page was shot in the abdomen, pelvis and shoulder.
Lewis was wanted for the armed robbery of a Pineville, N.C. restaurant where he worked at the time he shot Page. A violent criminal apprehension team that included Charlotte officers and York County deputies, along with state and federal agents, were at the home searching the house when Lewis ambushed Page.
Lewis and Barratt had plotted for Lewis to hide in the house to avoid arrest. Yet Barratt lied to police searching the house by claiming Lewis was not there, and even saw Lewis waiting with a gun in a bedroom after removing a dog from the room just seconds before Lewis shot Page.
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Several officers, including York County deputies, returned fire at Lewis after Lewis shot Page. Lewis was wounded in the legs.
Lewis admitted that he did not want to hide “like a puppy,” and told police after the incident he wanted to be shot so he put himself in a position with the gun near the door. Lewis he had his gun pointed at the officer and that the officer had a right to shoot him.
Lewis’s lawyer had claimed Lewis, who had been homeless for a time, was mentally incompetent after the shooting but after mental testing officials determined Lewis was capable to stand trial. He then pleaded guilty.
Lewis pleaded guilty last year to the restaurant robbery and was sentenced to nine years in prison. The 25 years sentence he received Wednesday will run consecutive after the robbery sentence, federal prosecutors said.