The often-delayed sentencing of self-declared “mountain man” Jack Eugene Lewis, convicted of multiple counts of child pornography, drugs and firearms violations by a jury that, on Feb. 25, voted a prison sentence of 106 years, received another continuance in Floyd County Circuit Court after his latest court-appointed attorney said he needed time to read the voluminous files and consult with the prior counsel.
Christiansburg attorney Fred Kellerman asked for a three-month delay, but Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Branscom objected. Judge Marc Long gave Kellerman 60 days for the final sentencing on Sept. 6 in a case already continued eight times in earlier hearings.
Kellerman said he also needs to read a long “continuing list” of letters written by Lewis from his jail cell in New River Correctional Center to the judge, prosecutor and media, claiming he is a “victim of a conspiracy” who needs a new trial.
Several of the letters have said he would “take care of” the judge, prosecutor and Floyd Press reporter covering the trial once he gets out of prison.
Branscom said he intends to introduce the letters as part of the record in the sentencing, along with the pre-sentence report compiled by the county probation office. His office also has recordings and transcripts from phone calls between Lewis and relatives where he threatens to “disrupt” the sentencing hearing.
After the jury sentenced him in February, Lewis first said he accepted the sentence because “Jesus is next to me” in the courtroom, but when Brancom asked about an earlier threat, he shouted obscenities at the prosecutor and added “I’m a mountain man and you are nothing but a lawyer!”
Lewis remained quiet in court Tuesday.
Kellerman is the third appointed attorney for Lewis, who also planned -- for a time – to be his own counsel.
The Lewis sentencing was expected to be the main case before the court Tuesday in what was also the first day of the new court term with a county grand jury meeting to consider indictments. The final indictments handed down are sealed until they are served and are not expected to be released until next week.
In another cases Tuesday:
Judge Long initially set a quick trial for Kerby Cornell DeHart on drug and firearms charges after the defendant balked at accepting a waiver of the state’s quick trial requirement but after consulting with his attorney agreed to the waiver and the judge reset trial for Oct. 21.
Joseph Warren Gallimore of Indian Valley sought release on bond while awaiting an Aug. 27 hearing for violating probation on a grand larceny conviction, but the judge denied bail;
Long also denied bail for Rita Diane Huff on probation violation hearing on an unlawful wounding conviction hearing set for Sept. 19.
The judge did grant a $5,000 secured bond for Jim Cecil Lemon of Floyd while he awaits trial for violating a pretrial condition from an assault and battery case.
A number of other cases were continued.