JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s a new prosecutor in the state’s case against Robert Lewis. Now, the public defender wants to call the former assistant state attorney to the stand.
Police arrested Lewis for aggravated battery last year stemming from a fight that involved a gun and a metal pipe. The pipe was never introduced as evidence in court because a JSO sergeant admitted he prematurely destroyed it.
Lewis was in court Wednesday morning for a status hearing. Public defender, Shannon Schott, announced she plans to depose the former prosecutor in the case, Alex King, to testify.
“We want to put him under oath and we want to get the truth out of him,” said Schott. “We're going to ask him questions. We want him to tell us everything he knows."
Schott's suspicion stems back to an October phone call between her and Sgt. J.K. Lentz of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Action News was first to tell you, Lentz lied to Schott when she called the department's evidence room inquiring about the metal pipe.
“Sgt. Lentz from JSO lied to me on the phone saying that Mr. King was not in the room when in fact he was. Sgt. Lentz admitted that the next day and we just want to know why he lied."
Lentz came under fire again for destroying that piece of evidence without authorization, which he admitted on the stand back in October.
Schott told Action News that putting King on the stand will help exonerate her client.
King told Action News reporter Ryan Smith that he will cooperate and take the stand if necessary. But doesn't believe his testimony will help prove Lewis' innocence.
Action News asked the State Attorney's Office if King was fired for any reason relating to this case. A spokesperson would not comment.
According to the State Attorney’s Office, King was a prosecutor from May 2010 until December 2012.
Bradley Bodiford is the third prosecutor in the state’s case against Lewis.
The defense filed a motion requesting that the judge dismiss the case based on police botching the evidence. The judge denied the request. Lewis’ trial is scheduled to start in April.