LIMA — A 43-year-old Lima man who spent 16 months behind bars for providing fentanyl to his wife, who died as a result of their recreational drug use, was freed from prison Tuesday.
Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed granted a request for an early release sought by Daniel Lewis. Lewis was sentenced in November 2017 to three years in prison on charges of reckless homicide, a third-degree felony, and aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. The Lima man was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs by providing a controlled substance to his wife, Cynthia Lewis, who died as a result of the Feb. 10, 2017 incident. He accepted a deal from prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the reduced charges in early October 2017.
Two previous requests for early release filed on behalf of Lewis were denied by the court.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Destiny Caldwell said Lewis “has used his time in prison to his benefit to try and better his life” and said the state would not oppose his request for judicial release.
Defense Attorney Bill Kluge said the facts of the case were devastating. “His brother-in-law went to prison and his wife died as a result of recreational drug use.”
Daniel Kill, the brother of Cynthia Lewis, was also sentenced to three years in prison on identical charges. He has also been granted early release and was present in the courtroom on Tuesday.
Lewis during Tuesday’s hearing told Reed he has spent the past 16 months “trying to find a way to better myself.” He told the judge he plans to attend programs in Lima to continue his recovery from drugs.
“I would like the opportunity to prove to the court and to my family that I have been rehabilitated,” said Lewis.
Reed granted the release and ordered Lewis to serve three years on probation and to complete the court’s re-entry program.
Reed was pensive throughout Lewis’ sentencing hearing some 16 months ago. The judge conceded that Cynthia Lewis ingested drugs of her own free will and that David Lewis has exhibited “genuine remorse.” But Reed nonetheless said a prison sentence was “consistent with the seriousness of this crime.”
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.