Convicted killer's attorneys fighting his guilty verdict amidst missing girl case

By  | 

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) -- Attorneys for Virginia Adams’s ex-husband say an innocent man is behind bars. Timothy Lewis is serving life for the capital murder of his ex-wife Virginia Adams’ son, Tyrone Fenner, Jr.

Adams is now facing charges for interfering in the custody of her three-year-old daughter, Rayven Shields.

It's been 13 years since Timothy Lewis has seen the outside world. Lewis was charged in a crime his attorneys say he didn't commit.

"He's always proclaimed his innocence in this case. There was never any evidence of any confessions or admissions on his part," said one of Lewis’ attorney, Billy Carter.

Billy Carter and David Barron defended Lewis over 10 years ago. They say there's more to the story.

"I don't believe all of my clients' proclamation of innocence, but I believed Timothy from day one, and I still do," Barron said.

The attorneys believe Lewis' former wife, Virginia Adams, played a part in Tyrone Fenner Jr.’s death.

"She made a statement that we tried to introduce into evidence at the trial about 'I hate kids, I hate kids, I wish they were dead,'" Carter said.

That information was ruled inadmissible in the original case.

"We would like a new trial and have him go home because we don't think he was guilty of this," Carter said.

Now, Adams is facing new charges for interfering as CPS investigated the disappearance of her three-year-old daughter. Carter and Barron want to see the right person finally put behind bars.

"I’ve been a prosecutor, and as we like to say, people who commit crimes like this should be held accountable. And if we can't protect our elderly and our children, then we're not much of a society," Barron said.

Depending on how this case develops, Carter and Barron say they will file an innocence claim appealing Lewis' conviction to get him out of prison.

Meanwhile, the former Assistant District Attorney who tried the capital murder case says Lewis deserves his conviction.

“It was not an easy case for the prosecution, it was not an easy case for the defense and it was not an easy case for the jury," said Attorney Shane Phelps, who tried Lewis back in 2005.

“One of the doctors, the medical examiner testified it was the kind of impact that you would expect from a major automobile crash or a baseball bat to the side of the head,” said Phelps.

Phelps doesn't agree with Lewis’s family and attorneys who say Lewis is innocent and the recent disappearance of his ex-wife’s daughter Rayven is proof she may have something to do with Tyrone’s murder.

“The facts just didn’t stack up that way," said Phelps. "I mean he repeatedly told her, even in secret recordings, you were downstairs and I was upstairs. He fell off the toilet.”

At the time of Tyrone’s death, Phelps says Virginia didn’t have a criminal background and there was no evidence to prosecute her. But he does think it’s possible she knew more than she let on in the beginning.

“I mean she obviously lied to the police originally and supported his story," he said. "But I think the facts certainly do not support that it was something that she did and he didn’t have anything to do with.”

And when it comes to Virginia’s involvement in her daughter’s disappearance Phelps isn't sure.

“Am I surprised about this? I mean I don’t know that I remember enough about her to be surprised one way or another," said Phelps. "She was in a relationship with a guy that had a violent past and a drug problem so I’m not sure that her parenting skills were anywhere near where the rest of us expected them to be.”

He says in the court of law she's presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“I don’t think at this stage we know what happened, what the cause of death was, who may or may not be involved and so I guess we're just going to have to wait and see what happens," said Phelps.

Police have not confirmed if the remains found behind Virginia’s home belong to her daughter Rayven.

Right now her only charge is interfering with child custody.