An Oakland man was sentenced today to 115 years to life in state prison for murdering another man in an argument over a pit bull as well as raping a 16-year-old girl and a 30-year-old woman. Marcellous Lewis, 20, was convicted of second-degree murder last month for fatally shooting 41-year-old Robert Tibbs in the 700 block of Lacey Avenue in Oakland at about 11:10 p.m. on May 21, 2008.
Lewis also was convicted of rape and sexual penetration, along with kidnapping and multiple victim clauses for molesting the 16-year-old girl on the grounds of an Oakland church on Oct. 2, 2006. In addition, Lewis was convicted of rape, with additional kidnapping and multiple victim clauses, for raping the 30-year-old woman in Oakland on Aug. 26, 2007. Prosecutor Tim Wellman said the sentence that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joan Cartwright handed down to Lewis was appropriate.
“He showed his three victims no mercy and he earned his 115-year sentence,” Wellman said. Lewis’ probation officer said in a report to the court that Lewis, who was a juvenile when he committed the crimes, is “callous, despicable and immoral.” Wellman said Lewis, who was armed with a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun, went to Tibbs’ apartment late the night of May 21, 2008, to demand that Tibbs turn over a pit bull that had previously belonged to a friend of his. Lewis’ friend had given the dog to Tibbs and Tibbs’ fiancee shortly before the friend was killed in East Oakland, according to Wellman.
Tibbs and his fiancee had three children and the pit bull became their family dog, he said. Lewis’ attorney, Joann Kingston, said Lewis had gotten emotional and wanted the dog after seeing his dead friend’s photo in the Oakland Tribune that day when the newspaper ran its annual roundup of Oakland homicide victims. But Wellman said Lewis had never previously contested the ownership of the dog or said he wanted to take care of it.
After Tibbs refused to let Lewis into his house and turn over the dog, which was nicknamed “Cinnamon,” Lewis walked up to a front window, pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and shot twice into the apartment, hitting Tibbs in the chest, according to Wellman. Tibbs was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital in Oakland about an hour later. Kingston claimed that Lewis acted in self-defense because Tibbs brandished a machete after Lewis threatened him. But Wellman said Lewis was the aggressor in the incident and
didn’t act in self-defense. Jurors agreed with Wellman and convicted Lewis on Nov. 2 after deliberating for less than two full days. Kingston couldn’t be reached for comment today.Lewis didn’t speak in court today but Tibbs’ fiancie did. The woman who was 16 when she was raped attended the hearing but didn’t speak. However, her father spoke and so did her husband, who she
married after the incident.
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