MCR 6.004 (A): “The defendant and the people are entitled to a speedy trial and to a speedy resolution of all matters before the court. Whenever the defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial is violated, the defendant is entitled to dismissal of the charge with prejudice.”

 Charles K.K. Lewis: 43 hearings on juvenile lifer re-sentencing, one for each year of his incarceration; no end in sight

Judge Qiana Lillard denies sentencing defendants to top of guidelines if they exercise their 6th Amdt. right to trial, despite three COA opinions

“My stand will help all these little kids coming after me whose court files have been lost”–Lewis

By Diane Bukowski

April 14, 2019

Charles K.K.. Lewis awaits belated start of his 43rd juvenile lifer re-sentencing hearing March 23, 2019.

DETROIT — In the case of juvenile lifer Charles K.K. Lewis, are Wayne County Pros. Kym Worthy,  Judge Qiana Lillard, and AP Tom Dawson obstructing justice in order to protect Lillard from further disastrous Court of Appeals rulings, three of which have remanded defendants to a judge other than Lillard for sentencing?

Those Appeals Courts cited Judge Lillard’s stated policy of sentencing defendants to the top of the guidelines if they insist on their Sixth Amendment right to a trial instead of pleading guilty at the outset.  In a fourth case, People v. Walker, an MSC ruling is expected shortly. Inside sources indicate that it may result in a suspension of Judge Lillard from the bench.

“At this point, it’s probably better to just move on to the sentencing,” Lewis told Judge Lillard during his last hearing March 29. “I know you have a policy of sentencing people to the high end of the guidelines. The only thing I need to deal with is whether I’m going to start my appeal of right today or whether I’m going to start it nine months from now.”

Judge Lillard kept interjecting that she had no such policy, but it is documented in transcripts from the cases of Christobal DeLeon (2016), Derek James Smith (2015), Floyd Pennington (2014), and Harold Lamont Walker (2014). (Read opinions below story.)

Judge Qiana Lillard sported green nail polish in support of her alma mater Notre Dame March 29, 2019. Her mentor, Kym Worthy, also graduated from Notre Dame.

Lewis says he has no confidence that a mitigation hearing in front of Lillard will result in anything other than a sentence of life without parole, in part because Lillard already denied a motion to sentence him to a term of 40-60 years filed by SADO defense attorney Valerie Newman in 2016. Newman did not appeal.

The Judge has held 43 hearings in Lewis’ re-sentencing over three years, after denying his earlier motion to dismiss his case due to the loss of 28 years of his court files and his Register of Actions. His 44th hearing has now been set for Tues. April 16, 2019, at 1:30 PM, when yet more hearing dates will be set.

Lewis says he is “100% confident” that any Appeals Court will consider his and his lawyer’s contentions on the record that a mitigation hearing cannot be held without a complete court file.

They have also filed motions recognizable under the U.S. Constitution declaring his actual innocence and incompetent assistance of trial counsel.

Judge Joseph Maher

Judge Deborah Thomas read his first trial transcript, now missing, and opined that he should have been considered acquitted because there was no record of why Judge Joseph Maher dismissed the jury then.

There is also no record of who the jurors were in his third trial in front of Maher, which supplanted a second jury seated in front of Judge Ollie Bivins, the first African-American judge on the Genesee County Circuit Court bench. Judge Maher, a long-time racist, took it back from Bivins. For information on Judge Bivins’ illustrious history fighting for his people, see

Judge Ollie Bivins, Jr. sworn in Oct. 10, 1968. Flint Journal photo.

Lewis has contended on the record that he was the first juvenile lifer to win a re -sentencing in front of Judge Edward Ewell in 2012, and that therefore he is not subject to the Michigan statutes established for juvenile lifer re-sentencings in 2014, under ex post facto rulings. 

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith recently banned the portion of those statutes that denied re-sentenced juvenile lifers access to earned good time and disciplinary credits, also citing the ex post facto bar.

“Once we set the mitigation date, Mr. Schulman and I will work together and come up with dates for all the experts to testify,” Dawson said. “Mr. Lewis can then decide how much he wants to participate—that’s his right. We can then decide how to move forward. Mr. Schulman and I can then present evidence and the court has ability to address it sometime in the future.”

For the second time in the last two hearings, defense attorney Sanford Schulman presented himself for the hearing set for 10 a.m., then disappeared to another courtroom for over an hour. He and Dawson then left to confer in the witness room.

Lewis told VOD that he was about to be taken back to his room in the Macomb Correctional Facility when the Court finally called and said it was ready.

Schulman reported that two “mitigation experts” he tried to hire for Lewis’ hearing have now backed out. The second, Gayl Amalfitano, submitted a questionable resume as documented in VOD’s last story. 

He said that once a mitigation expert is hired, that expert would designate any other experts needed for the hearing, causing further delay.

Two television news cameramen waited patiently in the courtroom during all the delays.

Some of Charles ‘K.K.’ Lewis supporters rally outside courthouse during 2016 hearing.

Related documents:

Court of Appeals dissenting opinion in Harold Lamont Walker case, pending Michigan Supreme Court decision .

Court of Appeals opinion castigating Judge Lillard for racial anti-immigrant comments in Christobal DeLeon case:

Court of Appeals opinion in Floyd Pennington case:

Court of Appeals opinion in Derek James Smith case:


Related stories:



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