Convicted killer recently released from prison caught in Florida after allegedly shooting man dead in New Jersey

polk sheriff
Source: Polk County Sheriff's Office; MEGA

Oct. 21 2021, Published 3:40 p.m. ET

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A convicted killer who was released from prison less than two years ago was arrested in Florida in connection to a deadly New Jersey carjacking last month, officials said.

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On Sept. 18 in East Orange, New Jersey, James Lewis, 51, shot a man dead, zip-tied the victim’s girlfriend, stole the couple’s car with the woman still inside, and then crashed the vehicle, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Police in Winter Haven, Florida, tracked down the fugitive at a home, and Lewis now faces charges of murder, carjacking, kidnapping and weapons possession, Tampa’s WTVT reported.

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According to the station, investigators found evidence at the residence that allegedly links Lewis to the New Jersey crime.

Lewis previously was found guilty of homicide in a 1989 case and was recently released from prison after serving three-quarters of his 40-year sentence.

“He spent only 30 years in prison when he was sentenced to 40 years in prison for homicide, robbery, and possession of a weapon. In less than two years of being released early, he murdered again,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said after Lewis’ arrest. “The reason we have prisons is to keep violent and repeat criminals away from victims and innocent people in the community.”

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