Adrian Lewis was convicted by a Newport News jury of first-degree murder after approximately 2 1/2 hours of deliberation. He is set to spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murder of his wife, Shanita Eure-Lewis whose body has not been recovered. The jury, however, returned a not-guilty verdict on the charge of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Shanita Eure-Lewis, 35, last appeared alive on July 17, 2022, as reported by Newport News Police. The Virginia State Police declared her “in extreme danger” after she was reported missing the following day, leading to the subsequent charges against Adrian Lewis, 50.
Newport News police detectives told the court that Lewis had done web searches in the days leading up to and immediately after his wife’s disappearance, such as “Would shooting someone in the back of the head paralyze them? What’s the sentence for murder in Virginia? And would a gunshot wound to the head cause pain?”
Surveillance video showed Shanita Eure Lewis alive at 9:34 the morning of July 17, getting into her husband’s Chevy Silverado truck.
Approximately six minutes later in a Little Caesars parking lot, Lewis was wiping the inside of the passenger door with his wife’s legs visible on the passenger seat, motionless. She was wearing the same light-colored pantsuit she wore to church that Sunday morning, which had been visible on church surveillance video at 8:18 a.m.
Darrell Witts an auto detailer said Lewis was a regular customer and he brought the truck to him that day, where he found a jelly-like substance and blood on the passenger seat, as well as blood on the passenger door threshold. Witts said Lewis told him the reason for the blood was that a neighbor had shot his dog.
About four hours later, surveillance video from a Chesapeake pawn shop shows Lewis holding two phones and selling several pieces of his wife’s jewelry. Foreman and Eure-Lewis’ sister both testified they received text messages from Eure-Lewis’ phone that day, but based on the content of the messages, neither believed Eure-Lewis was sending the messages.
Witnesses testified that Lewis, a serial cheater, accused his wife of infidelity without substantiated evidence and publicly threatened her life. He simultaneously led a years-long double life with Tomeka Davis, who testified that she and Lewis had an on-again, off-again affair while he was married. On July 13, 2022, four days before Shanita went missing, Adrian Lewis, intoxicated, came to her home and displayed a gun with a green laser sight. She cautioned him, saying, “Don’t do anything crazy.”
The court heard accounts of Lewis’s anger towards his wife even after her disappearance. Gethsemane Baptist Church Pastor Dwight Riddick revealed a phone call from Lewis expressing a desire for his wife to “rot in hell.” Additionally, friends of the couple testified that Eure-Lewis had expressed her intention to seek a divorce, prompting Lewis to rationalize his actions by accusing her of infidelity.
Lewis’s public admission of his willingness to resort to violence in case of infidelity was not a new revelation. During a 2021 Christmas party, Adrian Lewis while discussing his adultery, stated that he would kill his wife if she ever cheated on him. His rationale was that she wanted to divorce him because she had someone else.
Lewis was apprehended at Dulles International Airport while awaiting a flight to Jamaica. Another web search on his phone revealed the query: “Can police track your phone?”, indicating that they were tracking his phone. He attempted to board a flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Another search from Lewis’s phone was: “Does Jamaica have extradition?”.
Shanita’s passport, COVID-19 vaccination card, and her Capital One, Discover, and Bank of America credit cards were in his possession.
Darin Frihat, a woman from Jordan testified that she had a lengthy conversation with Lewis while he was at Dulles Airport trying to leave the country. She said Lewis spoke of his wife in the past tense, and told her, “I wouldn’t care if she got hit by a truck.” Lewis mentioned that his wife was cheating on him with her foot doctor, who testified Wednesday that the two were “emotionally intimate,” and communicated frequently, but did not have a sexual relationship.
According to Frihat, Lewis said he wanted to get to Africa and live in the forest, but he also told her he was traveling to a wedding, even though his wife had gone missing earlier that day.
Frihat said she began to feel unsafe around Lewis and notified the hostess in the lounge.
Three weeks after anyone ever heard from or saw Shanita, her sister told Lewis that his two teenage sons believed that their mom committed suicide, because they had no other information. Lewis cried on the jail phone when he heard this.
In that same call, Lewis says, “I’m not gonna have my life ruined.”
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Valerie Spencer Muth expressed satisfaction with the guilty verdict on the first-degree murder charge. Though the exact cause of Eure-Lewis’s death was not established, the presented evidence depicted Adrian Lewis as a profoundly jealous and hypocritical individual.
His attorneys did not present any evidence or call any witnesses
The trial, overseen by Newport News Circuit Court Judge Bryant Sugg, marked the first murder case in the jurisdiction to proceed without the victim’s body. Lewis is set to be sentenced on January 19, 2024.