A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to murder after he shot a fleeing bystander during a 2019 convenience store robbery in Gray.
Phillip Lee Lewis, 26, of Flint, Michigan pleaded guilty during his pre-trial conference on Monday, March 2. He was set to go to trial the next day.
Lewis entered the A&B Quick Stop on U.S. 25E in the early hours of Jan. 16, 2019, where he used a firearm in an attempted robbery. 25–year–old Gary Medlin attempted to flee the store at which time he was shot by Lewis multiple times. Medlin was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lewis, who fled the scene on foot, remained at large until Feb. 8, 2019, when he was arrested in Flint, Michigan. A joint task force comprised of the Michigan State Police, U.S. Marshalls and the FBI conducted worked to locate him. Video footage from the A&B Quickstop allowed police to quickly obtain an arrest warrant.
Lewis maintained his innocence for some time after his arrest. In an interview with the Mountain Advocate he stated, “I do not kill. I steal. I am not no killer.” He was indicted on Nov. 22 by a grand jury.
In addition to the murder of Medlin, Lewis is charged with first-degree robbery and faces two persistent felony offender charges. The Commonwealth Attorney’s office has recommended he serve 35 years concurrently.
Story by Jeff Ledington with the Barbourville Mountain Advocate.