Man wanted for murder in New Jersey found, arrested in Polk County

Polk County

Courtesy: Polk County Sheriff’s Office

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man wanted for numerous crimes, including murder, out of New Jersey was found and arrested in Polk County, deputies say.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 51-year-old James Lewis was taken into custody by deputies Tuesday morning at a home located off Kinghill Court SE in Winter Haven.

Deputies say Lewis had warrants for murder, kidnapping, carjacking, and weapons charges.

According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Lewis fatally shot a man on Sep. 18 in East Orange, New Jersey, during a carjacking. Officials say he then zip-tied the victim’s girlfriend and stole the car with her in it, before crashing a short time later.

Polk County deputies say Lewis was previously convicted for homicide in a 1989 case in which he was also convicted for robbery and possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison but only served 30 years in combined jail and prison time.

“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. “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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