DETROIT (WJBK) - A man sentenced to life in prison for the murder of an off-duty police officer has said he's innocent - for the past 41 years. A new law could give him a chance at parole for the first time in decades.
Charles Lewis is 58 years old. When he was 17, he was convicted of murdering the off-duty cop and given life in prison. Since his conviction, he's stood firm that he didn't commit the crime.
On Friday, he was in court where he continued to fight for his freedom. The issue that's opening the door for Lewis is the loss of his transcripts from his case and conviction.
Wayne County has the highest number of juveniles serving a life sentence in the state. Earlier this month, we learned that Lewis's file is nowhere to be found.
"I think most of the transcripts from the murder case, the sentencing transcripts, and we may be missing some other transcripts," his attorney Valerie Newman said.
She said the missing transcripts also includes her Lewis' trial.
"We don't even know how it ended. We're not exactly sure what happened with the first trial and why it went to a second trial," Newman said.
This makes for an impossible situation in moving forward to have Lewis receive a new sentence.
"I think as a judge, I think you have to evaluate both sides to make a decision in how this will proceed," Lewis said.
All sides can only hope Lewis's file will be found between now and next Friday when his next hearing is scheduled.