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Cherokee County murder case continues to be delayed

The status on competency hearing for a Stilwell man accused of killing three people has been continued to Aug. 9.


The case for Robert Edwin Lewis continues to be delayed after he was slated to appear in Cherokee County District Court Wednesday, July 26.


A judge ordered mental observation/evaluation to determine the competency of Lewis back in October 2022 and the case was continued as the state awaited the forensic examination report.


According to court reports, Lewis was ordered to be examined for competency to stand trial on Feb. 22, 2023. It was further ordered that a qualified professional, which is designated by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Development Disability Services, is authorized to participate in the competency evaluation process “wherein development or intellectual disability may be involved.”


Lewis asked for an admissibility hearing regarding the qualifications and scope of testimony of a physician on April 24. That request was denied.


Velia Lopez represented Lewis until May 19, when he was appointed new attorneys from the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System’s Capital Trial Division; Mitchell S. Solomon, Shea Watts, Raven S. Sealy, and Alex Richard.


Lewis pleaded not guilty to all three counts of murder for the killings Quinley Lamb, 43, and Brian Shackelford, 51, both of Sharp County, Arkansas, and DeAnna Tippey, 36, of Cherokee County. Tippey was Lewis' girlfriend.


According to an affidavit, Lewis was taken into custody Jan. 28, 2022 at the Cherokee Casino in Tahlequah after he called Elden Graves, who was a detective with the Tahlequah Police Department at the time. Lewis was transported to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office when he drew a map of where a body was located.


“I gave Robert a piece of paper as he started to draw his road on his property, he stated [a body] was buried on the right side of the road. I advised Robert we had already been to his property and found a body on the left side of the road, not the right side of the road,” the affidavit stated.


Lewis then explained that there were three bodies buried on his property, subsequently confessing to killing the three. Lewis told investigators he thought he wanted to talk to an attorney.


The bodies were discovered in shallow graves on the property at 25182 E. 770 Road in Cherokee County.


The status on competency is slated for Aug. 9 at 1:30 p.m.

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