The family of an Englewood chef gunned down in the street by two teenagers in 2016 told a judge June 22 that Nick Lewis’ death was tragic, senseless and a heinous crime.
They had traveled from Florida to urge Arapahoe District Court Judge Andrew Baum to impose the maximum sentence on the one who pulled the trigger, Raheem Benson.
Lewis’ former wife spoke on behalf of their son, who had just turned 8 when his father was murdered.
Lewis’ “death was unjust and senseless,” his ex-wife told the court. “These young men have permanently altered the course of (my son’s) life. Nothing can be done to right what has been done.”
Baum listened and then sentenced Benson, now 18, to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.
“I don’t think any of your deficiencies shields you or excuses the choice you made that night,” Baum said, referencing mitigating factors the defense had raised in a previous hearing. “At some point you knew it was wrong to go out there with a gun … No one else made that choice.”
Baum added: “Your life is now the Department of Corrections.”
“Benson murdered for the mere thrill of killing another person. At any age, this can only be described as evil,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Colorado’s system is now set up to ensure that this cold-blooded murderer will again walk our streets, likely as early as in his 40s. We can only hope that his heart is turned away from darkness in the couple of decades he is incarcerated, and we are safe from him.”
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