By Mike Fletcher
Family and friends of 85-year-old Lonnie Lewis walked out of Howard Superior Court 4 Friday a bit relieved after seeing Bradley Ryan, the man convicted of killing him, sentenced to 90 years in prison.
“He’s got a lot of time to think about what happened,” Paul Epperly, a neighbor of Lewis, said after the brief sentencing hearing.
Betty Louise Langley, the daughter of Lewis, submitted a letter to the court on behalf of the family, but did not testify.
A jury convicted Ryan last month of murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in the August 2011 death of Lewis.
Judge George Hopkins sentenced Ryan to 60 years for murder and 30 years for robbery, and ordered the sentences to run consecutively.
Deputies were called to Lewis’ home at 1104 Miller St., at about 12:30 p.m. Aug. 15, 2011, after family members found Lewis unconscious and unresponsive.
An autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma. A pathologist testified at the trial that Lewis died sometime on the evening of Aug. 13.
Testimony in the four-day trial revealed Ryan went to Lewis’ house after Lewis returned from a night at the Eagles, hit him in the head with a blunt object and stole a check he later wrote and cashed for $1,500.
Prior to sentencing, Prosecutor Mark McCann asked the judge to give Ryan the maximum 60 years in prison on the murder and 35 years on the robbery conviction, saying the aggravating circumstances, which included the severity of the crime and Ryan’s criminal history, outweighed any mitigating factors.
According to the probation department’s pre-sentence investigation, Ryan has four prior misdemeanor convictions and one felony conviction.
Ryan’s court-appointed attorney, Andy Vandenbosch, requested a lesser term of 55 years in prison with 10 years suspended.
No witnesses were called to the stand, but Ryan, handcuffed and shackled, maintained his innocence in a non-sworn statement to the court.
“As I sit here I can’t feel regret or remorse for something I’m innocent of,” Ryan said reading from a written statement.
“To my family and friends, this is far from over,” he continued. “I thank you for your continued support. The wheels of justice are just starting to turn. I am innocent. That’s one thing I know for certain.”
Ryan said he plans to appeal the conviction and sentencing. He has 30 days to file his appeal.