TACOMA, WA – Today a jury found Joseph Lester, 25, guilty of murder in the second degree and felony murder for stabbing to death his 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend, Keisha Lewis, in 2011.
“This is a sad example of domestic violence,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “The defendant’s murderous rage leaves Keisha Lewis’s two young children without their mother.”
On October 31, 2011, the defendant arrived at the victim's residence with their 9-month-old daughter. The defendant and the victim engaged in a conversation outside of the residence in the presence of their daughter. Witnesses heard the victim cry out, "he's killing me." The victim retreated inside the residence, bleeding from multiple stab wounds, where her mother, best friend, and 2-year-old son were located. The victim died at the residence.
The defendant fled the scene in his car with their nine-month-old daughter. A witness heard the defendant say, "I'm doing to her what she did to me." Hours after the murder, the defendant turned himself into police.
During the trial, the defendant claimed that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when the attack occurred and that he was defending himself from the victim. The autopsy performed on the victim showed that she had been stabbed multiple times and suffered fatal wounds to the head and throat. She was at least two months pregnant when she died.
The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, March 8 at 1:30 pm in courtroom 2-A. He faces a standard range sentence between 16 ½ to 25 years in prison. The state will request an exceptional sentence greater than 25 years.
For more information, please contact Emily Conlee at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].