Jurors Get Standing Ovation After Convicting Man For 2011 Jones County Murder

The victim's family gave jurors a standing ovation after they convicted a man in a murder that happened more than 3-1/2 years ago.

Dennis Lewis of Jacksonville was found guilty of first degree murder after his trial at the Jones County Courthouse. Afterward, the family of Edward Bell III stood up and applauded jurors as they left the courtroom.

WITN spoke with Bell's daughter, Jennifer Hughes, shortly after the verdict.

"It's been sorrowful and it's been very hard for the past three and a half years for my dad to be drastically taken," says Hughes. "But justice has been served today and I am so thankful and happy. I know he's up there shining down and looking at us."

Edward Bell III of Pollocksville was found shot to death at his home on Highway 58 back on January 20th, 2011. Five days later, Lewis was charged in the man's murder.

Prosecutors say Bell was dating Lewis' ex-girlfriend at the time of the murder, but it was all a circumstantial case.

A judge sentenced Lewis to life in prison without the chance for parole.

Lewis' attorney says they will appeal the conviction.

This was the first murder trial in Jones County in more than 20 years, according to the district attorney.