Woman spits into gallery after being sentenced for killing mother in 2005

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A woman has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing her mother back in 2005.

Lashawn Lewis, 40, of Buffalo, received the maximum sentence after being convicted of second degree murder in September.

According to the Erie County DA’s Office, on Aug. 4, 2005, Lewis stabbed her mother, 50-year-old Lateyfa Lewis, more than 40 times inside of the victim’s Orange Street home. 

During her sentencing, Lewis claimed she is innocent.

“There’s no one that misses my mother more probably than me. She was my best friend. She was my strength. There’s no way on earth that I could have taken her life,” Lewis said.

A jury disagreed.

Jurors unanimously returned a guilty verdict in September after Lewis’ retrial. Her original trial in July ended with a hung jury.

Lewis was charged in November, 2017, 12 years after she stabbed her mother to death.

“It took a dogged investigation by the Buffalo Police Department along with my office here,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. “There were a number of pieces of circumstantial evidence that led to the guilty verdict a few months ago.”

It was a tough case. And I was willing to take a tough case on,” Flynn said.

After Lewis was arraigned in 2017, family members had an emotional confrontation in the hallway outside the courtroom.

MORE | Click here to see our earlier coverage.

The fireworks continued during Lewis’ sentencing Thursday.

Lewis interrupted her mother’s friend, Sharon Belton-Cottman, multiple times as she was giving a victim impact statement.

After receiving her sentence, Lewis spit into the gallery as she was being led from the courtroom.

Lateyfa Lewis’ family and friends said they were not surprised by Lashawn Lewis’ courtroom behavior, calling her “a nasty person”.

Lateyfa Lewis’ daughter-in-law Sylvia Bryant told News 4 Lashawn Lewis’ sentencing gave her some closure.

“A little bit,” she said. “But I wish I had my mother back.”

Lewis has 30 days to appeal her sentence, but the District Attorney says he’s confident the right person is heading to prison. He says she hopes she spends the rest of her life there.

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