A Lawnside Police lieutenant was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly tampering with evidence nearly five years ago.
Lieutenant Lloyd Lewis, 44, of Lawnside, is accused of hiding a statement a murder suspect made from police. Lewis, a 23-year veteran of the force, is the highest ranking member of the Lawnside Police Department.
On August 20, 2008, Lewis was contacted by a relative of Lee Williams Jr., a man who was wanted in connection with a homicide in Salem County, according to investigators. Investigators say Lewis was a longtime friend of Williams’ relative. The friend allegedly asked Lewis if he could help facilitate Williams’ surrender.
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Police say Williams and Lewis waited for Salem County investigators at the Lawnside Police Department. While they waited, police say Williams insisted on making a statement. Police say Lewis then read Williams his Miranda Rights and then took a statement from him. Lewis allegedly recorded the statement with audio and video equipment and Williams admitted being an accomplice to murder.
Police say Lewis wrote a report on the incident that failed to document the fact that Williams offered a statement. Lewis allegedly did not mention the statement to Salem County Police. Lewis is also accused of failing to preserve the DVR record of the statement. Police say the device in the Lawnside police department copies over recordings after 45 days and Lewis made no effort to save the recording.
Salem County police say they learned about the statement after they recovered a letter from Williams to a friend which mentioned a statement they never knew existed. The officers notified the state Attorney General who contacted the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
Lewis was arrested on Tuesday and charged with four counts of Official Misconduct, three counts of Tampering with Evidence and Tampering with Public Records.