Cop Killer Pleads Guilty

23-year-old admits to murdering Philadelphia police officer Chuck Cassidy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    John Costello / Inquirer
    John Lewis, the alleged killer of a Philadelphia Police officer Cassidy (inset), when he was escorted out of the the Miami Police Dept during his arrest.

    Twenty-three-year-old John “Jordan” Lewis shocked a packed courtroom Thursday when he pleaded guilty to the 2007 murder of Philadelphia police officer Chuck Cassidy.

    Lewis’ admission came right after a jury was chosen and both sides were ready to begin the trial. Lewis nervously misstated his name before uttering the word “guilty” to a dozen robbery, weapons and assault charges, and finally to the murder charge.

    The Cassidy family and the police officers in the courtroom seemed to wonder what they had heard. But the pained sobs of Lewis' family members confirmed the plea.

    Officer Cassidy's Murderer Pleads Guilty

    [PHI] Officer Cassidy's Murderer Pleads Guilty
    John "Jordan" Lewis admitted to shooting Philadelphia Police officer Chuck Cassidy in the head after robbing a Olney Dunkin' Donuts in 2007.

    Investigators say that Cassidy was checking in on a doughnut shop, which had been previously robbed, when he walked in on a robbery Halloween morning 2007. Cassidy died a day later from a gunshot wound to the head.

    The jury must now decide on whether or not the murder was premeditated or if the then-21-year-old panicked when he saw the policeman enter the store.

    He nervously misstated his name before uttering the word “guilty” to a dozen robbery, weapons and assault charges, and finally to the murder charge. The Cassidy family and the police officers in the courtroom seemed to wonder what they had heard. But the pained sobs of Lewis' family members confirmed the plea.

    Cassidy, who was 54, is remembered as a warm, devoted community servant who was raising three children with his high school sweetheart and made daily rounds at small businesses on his beat in North Philadelphia.

    Cassidy's death was one of a string of police slayings that have rocked Philadelphia since mid-2006, with at least seven officers killed on duty.

    Although a gag order prevents lawyers from discussing the case, Lewis could presumably still face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.