Man accused of killing cop and business owner appears in court

January 16, 2013 10:31:24 AM PST
A capital murder suspect made his first court appearance Wednesday, after being accused in the Christmas Eve killing of a Bellaire police officer and a bystander.

Harlem Harold Lewis, 21, made his first appearance before a judge, now that he's recovered sufficiently from the gunshot wounds he received during the altercation in question. Bellaire police officers and loved ones of the victims were in court this morning as Lewis heard the two capital murder charges against him.

On the morning of December 24, prosecutors say Bellaire Police Corporal Jimmie Norman was pursuing Lewis after a failed traffic stop, and Lewis eventually stopped at the auto shop of 66-year-old Terry Taylor. Prosecutors believe Lewis shot and killed both Norman and Taylor.

Defense attorney Patrick McCann said, "I think the important thing right now is that we are all sobered by this. Obviously our client was shot, two other people are dead. But I think the most encouraging thing is that it appears the district attorney's office is sort of taking a new turn in terms of looking at these cases for whether they'll see the death penalty."

Defense attorneys say they are encouraged by the fact that the DA's office is taking their time with that decision. The district attorney's office says it is still trying to make a determination on whether it will seek the death penalty, saying "We are working diligently through the appropriate process -- evaluating the evidence to see if we will seek that punishment."
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