A 29-year-old man accused of fatally shooting an acquaintance in South Austin in 2018 was ordered held without bond Wednesday on a charge of first-degree murder.
Trenton Grayer fled to Arkansas after shooting Christopher Lewis as Lewis tried to help a female friend who was being pummeled and kicked by three other acquaintances as she lay on the street at 40 North Mayfield on Feb. 25, 2018, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney James Murphy said at a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
The woman who was on the ground heard five shots, then saw Grayer slipping a gun into his pocket, Murphy said. Grayer and the woman’s attackers — with whom she had been hanging out at a bowling alley earlier that evening — huddled to discuss what to do, then fled, Murphy said.
Grayer and his girlfriend Brianna Evans drove off in Grayer’s car, while another couple, who had been beating up on the woman, ran down a gangway, Murphy said. The woman, who suffered a dislocated knee, crawled to her car and called police.
Lewis, 30, who was shot in the head, died at the scene. Evans left with Grayer to Arkansas after the crime, Murphy said. Grayer was arrested Tuesday in Chicago.
Grayer later allegedly admitted to another woman whom he was dating that he killed Lewis. That woman, who told police she had been threatened by Grayer, turned over text messages in which Grayer wrote that he “smoked Brianna’s friend because he tried to fight me,” Murphy said.
Evans, her cousin, Jennice Campbell, and Campbell’s boyfriend, Brandon Humphrey, all face aggravated battery charges for the attack on the woman.
The assault victim and Lewis had met up with the group earlier that evening at a bowling alley, and had left to go to an all-night restaurant at around 4 a.m. As the woman drove to the restaurant, Lewis was falling asleep in the front passenger seat, so she said she’d take him home, prompting an argument with Campbell, Murphy said. The two women allegedly continued to quarrel, finally stopping the car “tussling” briefly on the street.
Lewis and the assault victim drove off, with the rest of the group leaving in Evans’ car, Murpy said. The woman drove toward Campbell’s house after realizing Campbell had her credit card. Pulling up alongside Evans’ car, the women again began arguing, Murphy said. Campbell and the woman got out of the car, with the other passengers quickly joining the melee, Murphy said. The assault victim stumbled backward on the curb, hurting her knee, and fell to the ground. Campbell got on top of the woman, as Evans and Humphrey hit and kicked the woman, Murphy said.
Lewis tried to aid the woman, but was shot by Grayer, Murphy said.