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‘Pure Evil’ Washington Man Sent to Prison for Hiring Cousin to Murder Ex-Wife. The Cousin Killed the Wrong Target.

Kevin Lewis in court.

Kevin Lewis in court.

A man in Washington will spend the rest of his life behind bars for targeting his ex-wife in a botched murder-for-hire plot that ended with the woman’s 24-year-old sister being fatally shot instead. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson sentenced 34-year-old Kevin Lewis to serve a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in 24-year-old Alisha Canales-McGuire’s 2017 murder, The Everett Herald reported.

A Snohomish County jury in November reportedly deliberated for less than four hours before finding Lewis guilty on charges of first-degree aggravated murder with a firearm and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.

According to court documents obtained by the Herald, Lewis hired his cousin, then-18-year-old Jerradon Phelps, to get Amanda Canales, his ex-wife and the mother of his three children, “out of the way.” The defendant alleged paid his cousin $2,400 to kill Canales.

Phelps and then-16-year-old Alex Hale on Sept. 17, 2017 reportedly drove Everett from Spokane to meet with Lewis. Once there, Lewis reportedly provided the alleged hitmen with the address of the home where his ex-wife was staying. Phelps and Hale reportedly drove to the home in the 3100 block of York Road at approximately 1:55 a.m. An armed Phelps knocked on the front door. Canales-McGuire, who was staying at the home to babysit her sister’s children, opened the door; the authorities say Phelps shot the woman five times before fleeing the scene with Hale. Police reportedly found Canales-McGuire dead in the doorway of the home.

Unbeknownst to Lewis and Phelps, Lewis’s ex-wife was on a business trip in New York City and had asked Canales-McGuire to stay at her house and babysit the three kids.

Investigators said Phelps and Hale were far from discreet about their roles in the murder-for-hire plot.

“The male suspect posted photos on social media showing off several hundred dollar bills just a few hours after the murder. The female suspect allegedly bragged to several acquaintances that she’d been hired to kill someone in Snohomish County,” the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement following the duo’s arrests more than a year after the killing. One of the people who overheard Hale bragging about being hired to kill someone on York Road reportedly called the police and relayed what Hale said, reinvigorating the investigation.

During Lewis’ trial, Phelps reportedly testified that he used the money Lewis paid him to purchase a Ferragamo belt buckle, a pair of Timberland boots, and several tattoos.

Prior to Judge Thompson handing down the sentence during Tuesday’s proceeding, Amanda Canales reportedly read a victim impact statement in which she referred to Lewis as “pure evil,” the Herald reported. She also emphasized that Lewis intended to have her murdered while their three kids were in the house.

“I thought that you loved them, but someone who loved them would never want to subject them to danger and to trauma,” she said while reportedly staring directly at Lewis. “Did you care that if it was just me home that night, they would have woken up to find their own mother dead, lying in a pool of blood?”

Canales said the children were traumatized by the killing but were on the road to recovery.

“They’re healing and they’re moving forward, despite all of the damage that you caused,” she reportedly said. “And in case you’re wondering, they don’t ask about you or talk about you at all.”

During the trial, Canales reportedly testified that Lewis had threatened to kill her if she didn’t give him full custody of their children.

In addition to the life sentence, Judge Thompson reportedly ordered Lewis not to have any contact with Phelps, Hale, Canales, or his children for the rest of his life.

Phelps and Hale both pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree murder. Phelps was sentenced to 31.5 years in prison while Hale was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

[image via KOMO screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.