Today a jury found Joseph Lester, 25, guilty of murder in the second degree and felony murder for according to a press release from the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office.
“This is a sad example of domestic violence,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “The defendant’s murderous rage leaves Keisha Lewis’s two young children without their mother.”
On October 31, 2011, the defendant arrived at the victim's residence on 57th Ave. W. with their 9-month-old daughter. The couple engaged in a conversation outside of the residence in the presence of their daughter. Witnesses heard Lewis cry out, "he's killing me."
She retreated inside the residence, bleeding from multiple stab wounds, where her mother, best friend, and 2-year-old son were located. She died at the residence.
Lester fled the scene in his car with their infant daughter. A witness heard the defendant say, "I'm doing to her what she did to me." Hours after the murder, the defendant turned himself into police.
During the trial, Lester claimed that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when the attack occurred and that he was defending himself from the victim. The autopsy performed on Lewis showed that she had been stabbed multiple times and suffered fatal wounds to the head and throat. She was at least two months pregnant when she died.
Lester is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, March 8 at 1:30 pm in courtroom 2-A. He faces a standard range sentence between 16.5 to 25 years in prison. The state will request an exceptional sentence greater than 25 years.