“American Monster: The Hidden Room” on Investigation Discovery details the August 2017 murder of 55-year-old Carla Lewis inside her Nile Township, Michigan, home. As the police investigated, they discovered a potent concoction of extramarital affairs, marijuana, and suspected intruders concealed behind the murder. To solve the case and apprehend the real offender, a thorough investigation and a witness were required.
How Did Carla Lewis Die?
On June 26, 1962, Carla J. Lewis was born in Benton Harbour, Berrien County, Michigan, to Wayne C. and Darlene J. (Benford) Arent. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana Tech after graduating from St. Joseph High School. Carla spent more than twenty years employed for the Whirlpool Corporation. Her last employer was Bayer Pharmaceuticals. She married Steve Damico when she was twenty-one years old, and the two of them had children. After 20 years together, the couple decided to call it quits in 2007 since their relationship didn’t work out.
Dani Damico, Carla’s daughter, said of her mother after her divorce: “She was reliving some of her younger years that she missed since she was 21 when she got married.” Carla started dating online. She married John Benton Lewis on June 30, 2012, at a wedding held in Mishawaka, after meeting him a few months earlier. Carla cherished shopping, scrapbooking, her daily Snapchat, and putting other people’s needs ahead of her own. That’s why it was startling when her husband John called in distress in August of 2017.
John contacted 911 on August 13 at around 6:00 p.m., and shortly after, Berrien County sheriff’s investigators arrived at 1429 Lawndale Avenue in Nile Township, according to police reports. The 55-year-old Carla’s body was discovered face down in a basement chamber concealed by a movable bookcase by the officers. She had been shot five times, including a fatal wound to the head, according to an autopsy. Additionally, her car, a 2008 Mazda CX-9 registered as CMY 3721, was reported missing.
Who Killed Carla Lewis?
John went to the police station to explain what he believed happened before the murder. He informed the officers that Carla had spent the weekend with her mother and had come back on Sunday afternoon. Before heading into the basement to grow marijuana plants, they talked about what they planned to do for the weekend. John said that as he heard Carla scream and looked up to see what appeared to be at least two black males shooting at them, they were moving and taking care of the plants.
Though they believed the room was too small for John to leave unharmed in the event of a shootout, the detectives were doubtful. He leaped on the married pair, saying the suspects were already hiding in the basement. Although John never provided a definitive response regarding who he believed to be the murderer of his wife, the police discovered that he produced medical cannabis for carers and asserted that his store was the reason for the shooting. John’s story, in the detectives’ opinion, “didn’t make much sense.”
John insisted that he had never bought or owned a gun and that his marriage was content and “perfect.” During the course of the interrogation, Justin Hicks, a construction worker employed by John, called the investigators. He informed the authorities that at 1:53 p.m., John had texted him to ask him to come to his house. According to Justin, John requested him to get ammo from his store, which he keeps in his car, and gave him the store keys.
Justin gave the police eight boxes of Russian-made 9-mm ammo and a magazine for a 9-mm handgun after learning about the shooting. John was linked to the murder because the steel casings of this specific calibre of ammunition matched those found at the crime scene. Justin’s assertion faced John, who had been babbling about the intruder scenario and denying he had any ammunition or firearms. At that time, according to police interrogation tapes, he stopped participating and requested legal representation.
The next day, Carla’s autopsy report was released, and it revealed that the round shells used to shoot Carla and the ammunition John had brought from Russia matched. The police detained John and accused him of one count of first-degree murder in connection with Carla’s death after gathering all the relevant evidence. According to recent accounts, on August 18, the authorities discovered Carla’s purportedly stolen vehicle abandoned in a cornfield near Yankee Street in Cass County. Despite his imprisonment, the detectives talked to family members and witnesses in order to compile a compelling case.
John’s Sevenleaves Compassion Club, located at 1046 Bell Road in Niles, was not profitable, according to family sources. Carla was making enough money to cover her payments, but it seemed like she was done with John’s failing company and that she was going to ask him to close it. It was revealed to the police that she had a $246,000 life insurance policy and $70,000 in retirement funds, both of which were beneficiaryed by John. The money gave the police John’s motivation, and when they searched his laptop and phone, they discovered he had been texting many women on the internet.
One of the ladies came forward and informed the officers that John had supposedly given her money and marijuana in exchange for having sex with her. They had intercourse on the day of the murder, according to her, and their relationship had lasted for six years. Her accusation that John had questioned her about moving in with him instead of her ex-boyfriend in the event that he became a widower was concerning. “John had told her he was going to murder his wife by using some prescription drug,” said one of the cops.
John Lewis is Behind Bars Today
After looking through John’s internet history, the authorities discovered that ten days before to the murder, he had been looking at websites selling silencers and handguns. His claims that he has never owned a gun or expressed interest in purchasing one were refuted by all of this information. On February 5, 2019, his trial got underway. John entered a not guilty plea and went on to say that two guys had shot his wife, broken into his house, and taken her automobile in order to get away. But the prosecution presented a compelling case that demonstrated how John had multiple affairs while using Carla’s money for his own gain.
Carla was shot, according to John’s defence, because of the store. However, the jury found John guilty of both murder and possession with intent to manufacture marijuana because the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that he killed his wife in cold blood. Carla’s presence in the room indicated that others had access, even though he was licenced to cultivate up to 12 plants. In March 2019, he was given a life sentence with no chance of release. The 54-year-old is detained in the Carson City Correctional Facility, per court documents.