Long-time friend supports accused cop killer

Jamaal Lewis accused of killing Capt. Dave Melton
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jul 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-25 18:35:43-04
Maurice Owens, 23, has known Jamaal Lewis, 20, and Daquon Sipple, 18, for the past decade.
Lewis is charged in the death of Kansas City, Kansas, Police Capt. Dave Melton. Sipple was arrested on the same day for several charges including assault of a law enforcement officer.
Owens says those arrests have given the public the wrong impression of the two young men.
"They just need to know they're some good kids," Owens said. "Their intention was never to hurt anybody period."
Owens is a young father who admits his own past includes stealing cars and burglarizing homes. But he says he keeps out of trouble now.
Owens says for Lewis to shoot a police officer is completely out of character for him.
"I feel like as if he probably thought his life was in danger also and so he probably reacted the wrong say," he said.
Owens says he learned of his friend's arrest for Melton's death from the news media and Facebook. On Facebook, Lewis posted pictures of himself with a gun and flashing gang symbols.
"He just following what everybody else does," Owens said. "Nah, he ain't a gang member."
Owens also said he didn't know whether or not Lewis owned a gun.
He says his younger brother went to elementary and middle school with Lewis.
Owens plans to help Lewis and Sipple in jail by putting some money in their accounts so they can call family and friends. He says Sipple has had a tough time after his brother D'Andre was shot and killed in front of a KCK barber shop in March. But he's more concerned about Lewis, who could potentially face the death penalty for Melton's death.
"I don't think he should spend the rest of his life in prison or get the death penalty," Owens said. "He ain't never been in trouble, he was a good kid. He got himself involved in a situation where he couldn't get himself out of it."
Another friend of Lewis, 20-year-old J.J. Williams, spoke to the 41 Action News Investigators off camera. Williams says he has a hard time believing Lewis shot and killed Melton. He says Lewis is smarter than that and must have been hanging out with the wrong crowd.



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