Lewis Murder Case Delayed Until August

A Greenville man accused of murdering a former East Carolina University student was in a Pitt County courtroom Monday.

Phillip Lewis, 21, is charged with last August's murder of Tommy Falcone. The 22-year-old's body was found at Pirate's Cove Apartments on East 10th St.

Authorities say the shooting followed a dispute between two groups of college-age men.

Lewis is out on a $500,000 bond. His case was continued until August 15th.

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The next court appearance has been scheduled for 20-year-old Phillip Lewis, accused of murdering 22-year-old Tommy Falcone in Greenville.

Court calendars say Lewis will appear in Pitt County Superior Court on October 7.

The grand jury indicted Lewis on one count of first degree murder last week for the August 9 shooting.

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Pitt County's district attorney says he will not seek the death penalty against the man accused of gunning down a former East Carolina University student.

Tommy Falcone was shot on East 10th Street on August 9th after a dispute between two groups of college-age people.

Phillip Lewis was indicted Tuesday on a first degree murder charge. District Attorney Clark Everett tells WITN News that he will not seek the death penalty against Lewis. He says if convicted the most Lewis could receive is life in prison.

Everett says there must be evidence of one of 11 aggravating factors in order for the state to seek the death penalty. He says there's not enough evidence to show any of those 11 aggravating factors in the Falcone murder.

The 20-year-old Lewis was released the day after the murder on a $500,000 bond.

North Carolina Death Penalty Aggravating Factors

(1) The murder was especially heinous, atrocious, cruel or depraved (or involved torture)
(2) The capital offense was committed during the commission of, attempt of, or escape from a specified felony (such as robbery, kidnapping, rape, sodomy, arson, oral copulation, train wrecking, carjacking, criminal gang activity, drug dealing, or aircraft piracy)
(3) The murder was part of a course of conduct in which the defendant engaged
(4) The defendant knowingly created a grave risk of death for one or more persons in addition to the victim of the offense
(5) The murder was committed for pecuniary gain or pursuant to an agreement that the defendant would receive something of value
(6) The murder was committed to avoid or prevent arrest, to effect an escape, or to conceal the commission of a crime
(7) The capital offense was committed to interfere with the lawful exercise of any government function or the enforcement of the laws
(8) The defendant has been convicted of, or committed, a prior murder, a felony involving violence, or other serious felony
(9) The capital offense was committed by a person who is incarcerated, has escaped, is on probation, is in jail, or is under a sentence of imprisonment
(10) The victim was a government employee, including peace officers, police officers, federal agents, firefighters, judges, jurors, defense attorneys, and prosecutors, in the course of his or her duties
(11) The murder was committed against a witness against the defendant while engaged in the performance of his official duties

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A grand jury in Pitt County indicted 20-year-old Phillip Lewis of first degree murder charges in the death of 22-year-old Tommy Falcone.

Tommy Falcone was shot on East 10th Street on August 9 after a dispute between two groups of college-age people.

The District Attorney's Office says Lewis was a ringleader in the shooting, which is why he also faces an aggravating factor in support of the murder charge against him.

A prosecutor can choose to pursue the death penalty against a suspect charged with first degree murder. It's not clear what the district attorney in Pitt County will pursue.

Police say the whole thing began when Falcone and some friends were given a ride from the downtown area in Lewis' pickup truck. A friend of Lewis was driving the truck, and Lewis was a passenger.

The truck ended up at Copper Beech Apartments where police say Falcone and his friends were dropped off. They say that's when the dispute started between the two groups that resulted in the damage to the driver's window. Police say the driver then left Copper Beech and went to Lewis' home on Guilder Lane. That friend then walked home, according to police.

Investigators say at this point Lewis got three firearms and began calling different friends to go back to Copper Beech. After approximately 45 minutes, police say the three returned to East 10th Street.

Police say it wasn't until then that police were contacted. They say recordings between Lewis and communication personnel reveal that Lewis was asked to go to Copper Beech but when he questioned that instruction, he was asked to "become stationary and make contact with officers who were responding".

Police say they found the pickup truck with the broken out driver's window parked at Saint Paul Pentecostal Holiness Church. While the officer was talking to those in the truck he heard a gunshot. An officer near the truck then saw Lewis with a semi-automatic rifle walking from the east side of the church parsonage. Two other firearms were found in the area of Mosley Drive several hours later.

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