Buffalo woman sentenced to 25-to-life for murder of mother

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A woman has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing her mother back in 2005.

Lashawn Lewis, 40, of Buffalo, received the maximum sentence after being convicted of second degree murder in September.

According to the Erie County DA's Office, on Aug. 4, 2005, Lewis stabbed her mother, 50-year-old Lateyfa Lewis, more than 40 times inside of the victim's Orange Street home. 

"There’s no one that misses my mother more probably than me. She was my best friend. She was my strength. There’s no way on earth that I could have taken her life," Lewis said.

Jurors unanimously returned a guilty verdict in September after Lewis' retrial. Her original trial in July ended with a hung jury.

"It took a dogged investigation by the Buffalo Police Department along with my office here," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. "There were a number of pieces of circumstantial evidence that led to the guilty verdict a few months ago."

After Lewis was arraigned in 2017, family members had an emotional confrontation in the hallway outside the courtroom.

Lewis interrupted her mother's friend, Sharon Belton-Cottman, multiple times as she was giving a victim impact statement.

Lateyfa Lewis' family and friends said they were not surprised by Lashawn Lewis' courtroom behavior, calling her "a nasty person".

Lateyfa Lewis' daughter-in-law Sylvia Bryant told News 4 Lashawn Lewis' sentencing gave her some closure.

Lewis has 30 days to appeal her sentence, but the District Attorney says he's confident the right person is heading to prison. He says she hopes she spends the rest of her life there.

A Buffalo woman who was convicted this year for the murder of her mother 13 years earlier was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced.

Lashawn Lewis, 40, was sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns in a cold case that saw her indicted in 2017 for the murder of her mother, 50-year-old Lateyfa Lewis, on Aug. 4, 2005.

Lashawn Lewis stabbed her mother more than 40 times throughout her body inside the victims home on Orange Street.

A jury convicted Lewis, as charged, on one count of second-degree murder on Sept. 19, 2018. A previous trial earlier in 2018 ended in a hung jury.

No matter how many years have passed, my office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute all cold case homicides committed in Erie County, said DA Flynn.

Flynn commended the investigative work of retired Detective Mark Stambach and retired Detective Sgt. Patrick Murphy of the Buffalo Police Department Homicide Squad as well as Det. Mary Evans of the Cold Case Unit.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Gary W. Hackbush and Assistant District Attorney Ashley M. Morgan of the DAs Tactical Prosecution Unit as well as Assistant District Attorney Eugene T. Partridge III of the DAs Homicide Bureau.

Story topics: Erie County District Attorney/ Erie County District Attorneys office/ John J. Flynn/ Lashawn Lewis/ Lateyfa Lewis

Posted in Buffalo