Robert Edwin Lewis allegedly killed two people on his birthday – then strangled his girlfriend days later, burying them all in shallow graves.
By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor
The man who confessed to killing two local people and his girlfriend in Oklahoma was in court with his attorney Aug. 3.
Robert Edwin Lewis, 61, formerly of the Hardy area appeared before Associate District Judge Joshua King with his attorney, Velia Lopez. The attorney asked for a continuance in his case citing an issue with his competency to stand trial. Lopez requested more time for an expert to evaluate him.
This is the second time Lopez has asked for a continuance. One was granted on June 15, but she hadn’t filed the proper paperwork by August. This time she claims the expert chosen by her team is unable to evaluate Lewis until October. She requested the court continue Lewis’ cases until December or January to allow her time to get a report.
Kim Hall, who represented the district attorney’s office, said there was no reason why the paperwork couldn’t be filed if Lewis’ team had concerns about his competency.
“I know there was a request to set this out until the first of the year; there’s no reason for that to be continued this long. The victims and this family have a right to a speedy trial as well, and I don’t know why we can’t have a short setting to get … the application for competency filed,” said Hall during the precedings, according to the local Tallequah newspaper.
Lopez told the court he can’t file the motion until competency is determined and they need the expert for that.
“I recognize that the family is of importance to the district attorney as [Lewis] is important to me,” Lopez said. “I think it’s important for everyone to understand this is a capital case. This could take us three or four years to complete.”
The judge agreed with the DA and explained there were concerns with competency, the motion should have been filed already.
“I’m not inclined to pass the case up that far because I think if you file that motion, we could have a report back and be prepared to take whatever next step is necessary long before the time frame you’re asking the court to continue this,” King said.
Judge King also explained to Lopez that while she has the right to have Lewis evaluated by any expect she chooses, the court wasn’t going to pass the case for months for her to consider filing the motion. He made it clear that he wanted to set a date for the preliminary hearing.
Hall explained to Lopez that if it were the counsel’s belief her client has an issue of competency, she is still required to file a motion for competency. He went on to tell the attorney an evaluation of the client cannot be completed in the absence of a order from the court.
“None of that can happen until the motion gets filed and the court orders it to be done,” Hall told Lopez.
King denied Lopez’s motion for a continuance and set the preliminary hearing for Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.
Lewis pled not guilty to all three counts of murder. He confessed to killing Quinley Lamb, 43, and Brian Shackelford, 51, both of Sharp County, and his girlfriend, DeAnna Tippey, 36, of Cherokee County.
The bodies were discovered in shallow graves on the property in January in Cherokee County, Okla.