Alleged gunman in 2011 killing of CPD officer Clifton Lewis goes to trial

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Cook County’s Leighton Criminal Court building. | Sun-Times files

The trial of the second of three men charged in the murder of Chicago Police Officer Clifton Lewis opened Monday, with prosecutors showing jurors video of Lewis being shot to death during a 2011 robbery at an Austin convenience store.

Officer Clifton Lewis | photo provided by Chicago Police Department

Officer Clifton Lewis | Photo provided by Chicago Police Department

Prosecutors went frame-by-frame through surveillance video, filmed on four different cameras inside the store, that showed two men bursting into the M&M Quick Foods and opening fire. Both men hurdled the store’s counter, shooting at Lewis as the off-duty officer took cover and tried to raise his gun to return fire.

After shooting Lewis, 41, the gunmen are seen emptying the register and snatching Lewis’ gun.

Video expert Grant Fredericks drew jurors’ attention to the mark on Lewis’ sweatshirt, which grew larger in each frame after he was shot.

“Blood will appear as a dark spot,” Fredericks said.

Prosecutors say one of the gunmen was Alexander Villa, who was arrested two years after the shooting. Villa was charged along with co-defendants Tyrone Clay and Edgardo Colon. Colon was found guilty at trial two years ago and was sentenced to 84 years for serving as the getaway driver in the fatal robbery. Clay still is awaiting trial.

Video captured the shooting from four different angles, and allegedly Villa and Clay entering and fleeing the store.

Lewis had been a police officer for eight years when he took the second job at the convenience store, hoping to earn a little extra cash for his upcoming wedding to his longtime girlfriend. He had proposed just four days before he was killed.

The trial will continue Tuesday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

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