Las Vegas judge denies wife's request for murder trial independent of husband, brother-in-law

Las Vegas judge denies wife’s request for murder trial independent of husband, brother-in-law

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Trio charged in 2020 deadly shooting

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas judge has denied a murder suspect’s request to have a trial independent of her husband and brother-in-law who are also charged in connection with a deadly shooting spree.

Judge Tierra Jones denied Kayleigh Lewis’ request for her own trial separate from the brothers in a filing Thursday.

Lewis, 27, faces 43 felonies, including murder and attempted murder, stemming from the shootings that spanned from Henderson to northern Arizona the day after Thanksgiving in 2020. She has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against her.

Christopher McDonnell, Shawn McDonnell and Kayleigh Lewis. (KLAS)

Lewis is married to Shawn McDonnell, 32, who is also accused of taking part in the spree. Shawn McDonnell’s brother, Christopher McDonnell, 30, is also charged. Christopher McDonnell told police Lewis was the driving in the spree, documents said.

Lawyers had asked Jones to disjoin Lewis’ case from the two others as it is unclear when Shawn McDonnell’s case could go to trial.

In November 2020, the trio drove from Tyler, Texas, to Las Vegas in a rented car, documents said. The trio is accused of driving around Henderson and randomly shooting at people, killing 22-year-old Kevin Mendiola Jr. at a 7-Eleven on Lake Mead Parkway. They then drove into Arizona, where there were additional shootings, including one involving a police officer. All three were arrested after their car rolled over.

“The court further finds that a joint trial will not prejudice Ms. Lewis due to the possible presentation of antagonistic, irreconcilable, and mutually exclusive defenses being asserted by each of the defendants,” a motion filed in the case from Jones said. Jones noted Lewis waived her right to a speedy trial in 2021.

Lewis’ lawyers also allege their client was the victim of domestic violence, noting a black eye seen in her booking photo.

Christopher McDonnell was found incompetent to stand trial last year. A judge found him competent to stand trial this spring.

A trial for all three defendants was scheduled to begin in November but is due to be rescheduled.

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