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Jamaal Lewis sentenced to life for KCKPD captain's death

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 16:58:47-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jamaal Lewis was sentenced to life in prison Friday for the shooting death of Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department Capt. Robert Melton.

Lewis pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder in Melton's death in late October, a surprise move that upset the officer's family. He also had been charged with capital murder, but opted to plead guilty to the lesser included charge.

After the plea, Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree faced harsh criticism, including an ethics complaint, from Melton’s family and fellow officers for his handling of the case.

By pleading to the lesser charge, Lewis avoided the death penalty and will be eligible for parole after 25 years. He also pleaded guilty last month to aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a firearm into an unoccupied dwelling.

The judge sentenced Lewis to a total of 22 months in jail for the other two charges and ordered those sentences to run consecutively, meaning he won't have a shot at parole after only 25 years.

Melton was shot and killed when responding to a shots-fired call in July 2016 in the 1500 block of Rowland.

He went to the scene after a man reported being shot at by multiple people from a vehicle.

When officers arrived, the suspects fled in a vehicle but crashed it into a fence. The driver was taken into custody and Melton was shot while looking for the other suspects.