A North Carolina man who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges was sentenced Wednesday in Henry County Circuit Court to a total of 40 years in prison in a robbery-turned-deadly in Axton last year.
Judge David V. Williams sentenced Jake Andrew Lewis, 24, of 1403 South Park Drive in Reidsville, to serve 30 years for first-degree murder, with another 20 years suspended; to serve two years for robbery, with another 38 years suspended; and to serve a total of 8 years in prison on two charges of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The suspended portions of the sentence on condition of indefinite supervised probation.
Lewis, on Feb. 27, pleaded guilty to shooting to death Eric Adams, of Axton, on Feb. 17, 2018.
Deputies responding to a 911 call at 110 Keen Drive at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 found Adams lying face up on the living room floor. There was blood behind his head and neck, and several shell casings littered the kitchen floor.
Prosecutors have said Lewis and three others went to Adams’ home with a plan to steal electronic devices and that, in the process, Lewis shot Adams multiple times.
Dylan Alan Day, 20, of 171 Rhinewood Lane in Reidsville, is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm during the commission of first-degree murder and robbery.
Landon Chase Handy, 19, of 7121 Hwy. 49 North in Liberty, North Carolina, is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm during the commission of first-degree murder and robbery.
Rebecca Greenberg, 23, of Kyle, Texas, is indicted on a charge of robbery in this case, according to online court records.
At the sentencing hearing Wednesday, Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester called Surry County, Virginia Sheriff Carlos Turner and Allishia Adams, youngest sister of Eric Adams, as witnesses.
Turner, who had known Adams about 30 years, described him as very loyal, caring, a good man, dedicated to family and friends. “He’d give you the clothes off his back, up to his last dime.”
“I was deeply, deeply saddened” by Adams’ death, Turner said.
Allishia Adams testified that her brother’s death has left a deep void and not a day passes that she doesn’t miss him.
“It has affected us a lot,” she said.
She described him as helpful to others.
“If he didn’t want to help you, he’d still help you,” she said.
Defense attorney Mike Nicholas called Lewis’ sister and mother as witnesses.
Both described him as significantly different when on drugs versus when he was sober.
The sister described the sober Lewis as kind, loving, caring, nurturing, who would do anything to help anyone.
The sister said he now wants to be rehabilitated, do his time and be a productive member of society. She said he is clean, remorseful and is taking responsibility for his actions.
The mother, Sandy Lewis, said she didn’t recognize her son when he used hard drugs and that he was distant from family. She said he is remorseful for his actions.
Nicholas argued that there were two sides to Lewis — a wonderful human being when he was not on drugs and a person who pushed away good influences and accepted evil ones when he was on drugs.
The defense attorney also argued that Lewis is now clean and sober, is remorseful, has accepted responsibility and can be redeemed.
Nester argued that Adams’ death was tragic and senseless.
The prosecutor argued that it doesn’t matter which Jake Lewis — the one on drugs or the one not on drugs — killed Adams.
“He’s not coming back,” Nester said of Adams.
Paul Collins is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him at 276-638-8801, ext. 236.