Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk reported the arrest of a Lawnside Police officer in connection with an official misconduct investigation.
Lieutenant Lloyd Lewis, M/44, of Lawnside, was charged Tuesday afternoon with four counts of Official Misconduct, three counts of Tampering with Evidence and Tampering with Public Records. Lewis is the highest ranking member of the Lawnside Police Department and has been an officer for 23 years.
It is alleged that on August 20, 2008, Lewis was contacted by a relative of Lee Williams Jr., who was wanted in connection with a Salem County homicide. Lewis was a long time friend of Williams’ relative and the relative asked Lewis if he would help facilitate Williams’ surrender. Williams and Lewis waited for Salem County investigators at the Lawnside Police Department, and in that time Lewis claimed Williams insisted on making a statement. It is alleged Lewis mirandized Williams and took a statement from the suspect. He recorded the statement with audio and video equipment, in which Williams acknowledged being an accomplice to murder.
Lewis is accused of writing a report on the incident that failed to document that the defendant offered a statement. He made no verbal mention of the statement to Salem County authorities. He also is accused of failing to preserve the DVR record of the statement, as the device in the Lawnside police department copies over recordings after 45 days. Lewis is accused of making no effort to preserve the recording.
Salem County law enforcement learned about the statement after recovering a letter from the defendant to a friend which mentioned a statement they did not know existed. They notified the state Attorney General, which notified the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
All persons charged with criminal offenses are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.