Phillip Lewis to report Monday for sentence, NAACP weighs in

Judge sentences him to at least 3 years in prison

Phillip Lewis gets three years in prison

GREENVILLE - Admitted killer Phillip Lewis is to begin his prison sentence Monday.

And the NAACP is weighing in on Lewis' punishment.

Lewis was sentenced this week to between 38 and 55 months for manslaughter.

Lewis pleaded guilty to the 2010 shooting death of Tommy Falcone.

The Pitt County chapter of the NAACP is set to hold a news conference on the issue Monday afternoon.

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Phillip Lewis, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Tommy Falcone, took the stand Thursday in his sentencing hearing.

Lewis faced a charge of first-degree murder in the Aug. 9, 2010, shooting death of Falcone. He entered a guilty plea on Wednesday to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter -- a class-D felony. He has been sentenced to at least three years in prison, a court official said.

On the stand Thursday, Lewis said a group of men rode in the back of his truck after a night out at the bars in downtown Greenville. An argument started between one of Falcone's friends and one of Lewis' friends, which heated up when Falcone's friend broke the back window of Lewis' truck.

Lewis said he talked to Max Joyner III, who was with Falcone's group. Lewis said Joyner told him it wasn't going to be hostile if he went back over to the Copper Beech apartment complex to get money to pay for the damages to his truck.

Lewis continued on to say that he never meant to hurt anyone that night; he admitted to bringing the guns, but said that was because he was afraid.

"There were nine dudes over there and one had just busted my window," Lewis said. "I'm going over there to get money from Max Joyner, (but) I didn't know how they would react. I didn't take the guns over there to harm anyone."

Lewis claims a man was coming toward him swinging a golf club and he fired a shot, and the person just disappeared.

"I never made a decision to shoot the gun," Lewis said. "I was on auto pilot. I pulled it up fast and I just fired the shot."

Lewis told the judge that he took adderall on the night of the shooting. He said he took the drug to help him stay awake. He also said on the stand that he'd had four drinks that night, but said he wasn't drunk.

The judge told Lewis he must report to the Pitt County Sheriff's office on Monday morning at 9 a.m. to start his sentence.


Previous story: Lewis takes manslaughter deal in Falcone murder

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