LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The North Little Rock man facing capital murder charges in the shooting that killed a Perry County jailer has been convicted of before of the same crime.
Court records reveal Roderick Lewis, 37, started having run-ins with law enforcement in 2000, when he was just 15.
Lewis was 17 when he was convicted of capital murder. Records show he shot and killed someone in North Little Rock.
The teen was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in that case, but a decade later, the United States Supreme Court ruled that offenders 17 years old or younger cannot be sentenced to life without parole.
The court’s opinion applied to Lewis since he was 16 when the killing happened and 17 when he was convicted.
After a negotiated plea, Lewis was released on parole in 2020. He finished that parole in August of 2021.
About three months later in November, though, Lewis was charged with aggravated assault on a family or household member, endangering the welfare of a minor and interference with emergency communication.
He pled not guilty to those charges and posted a $50,000 bond. Prior to the arrest and shooting in Perry County, he was awaiting trial.
Investigators said Lewis had been arrested on suspicions of drug and drug paraphernalia procession and was being booked into the Perry County Jail late Wednesday night when he pulled a gun and then shot and killed Detention Officer Jeremiah Story.
A judge denied Lewis bond during a court hearing Friday. The prosecutor told the judge that Lewis stated to officers during his arrest that he refused to go back to prison, before killing the jailer.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Story is the first line of duty death at the Perry County Sheriff’s Office since 1892. He was 21 years old.