UPDATE: Deputy who fatally shot man who charged at him in Mojave acted within departmental policy, review board finds

Crime Watch

UPDATE (Nov. 19, 10:16 a.m.): Deputy Jason Ayala has been returned to duty after a sheriff’s office review board found he acted within departmental policy in the Oct. 3 fatal shooting of Mickel Lewis, who charged at the deputy with his hand in his waistband during a traffic stop in Mojave.

Ayala knew Lewis was on probation and was possibly in possession of a gun, said the narrator of a video containing surveillance footage of the incident released by the sheriff’s office. A handgun was recovered behind a utility pole in a location where one of the passengers of Lewis’ vehicle was seen after the shooting.

Medical aid arrived within minutes of the shooting. Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene.

The sheriff’s review board’s findings have been submitted to the Kern County District Attorney’s office for review.

MOJAVE, Calif. (KGET) — A man shot and killed by a deputy after a traffic stop last week had convictions for resisting an officer, spousal battery and failure to register as a sex offender on a criminal record that spanned at least 22 cases in California, court records show.

The arrest record of Mickel Erich Lewis Sr. spans multiple cases in both Kern and Los Angeles counties. Family of Lewis, 39, said he moved to Mojave two years ago.

It was while in Los Angeles County that Lewis pleaded no contest in 2012 to failing to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 32 months in prison, according to court records. It’s unclear where the offense occurred that led to him having to register.

In 2014, Lewis pleaded no contest to spousal battery and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation, records show. He had another spousal battery case from 2018 pending in Los Angeles County at the time of his death.

A conviction in 2004 for driving without a license resulted in Lewis receiving a 15-day jail term and two years’ probation, according to records. The following year, he pleaded no contest to three counts of resisting an officer and was sentenced to three years in prison and three years’ probation.

Found guilty of a theft charge in 2012, Lewis was sentenced to 180 days in jail, records show.

In Kern, Lewis pleaded no contest last year to possession of drug paraphernalia and received three years’ probation, records say.

The Kern County Superior Court website lists four pending cases against Lewis. One from December involved six felony charges related to drug and gun offenses, including manufacturing drugs and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Two of the pending Kern cases involved vehicle-related crimes.

In one, filed in February, Lewis was accused of driving while his license was suspended or revoked for DUI and driving without insurance, records show. The other, filed in May, again included a misdemeanor of driving with a suspended or revoked license, as well as infractions of driving in excess of 100 mph, driving without insurance and failure to register a vehicle.

On Friday night, Lewis was driving with his girlfriend, Marlyn, and her two teenage daughters when a deputy pulled him over for a vehicle code violation.

When the deputy turned back to his patrol car, Lewis got out of his truck and started to run away, according to sheriff’s officials. Lewis then ran back to his truck, reached inside and charged at the deputy, officials said.

The deputy fired, striking Lewis, who was pronounced dead at the scene. A firearm was recovered, officials said.

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