Man gets 27 to life in brutal 2016 stabbing


By Justin Wier

jwier@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The man responsible for a brutal 2016 murder will spend at least the next 27 years in prison.

Judge Maureen A. Sweeney sentenced Wallace Lewis, 28, of Steel Street, on Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 27 years.

In December, a jury convicted Lewis of murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence in the Aug. 10, 2016, death of Howard Ramey, 53.

The murder charge earned Lewis 15 to life with an additional three years for tampering and nine years on a repeat violent-offender specification connected to a 2010 felonious assault conviction.

Lewis maintained his innocence before the judge.

“I didn’t have anything to do with that murder,” Lewis said. “I’m innocent. I wasn’t there when he got beat up or when he got stabbed.”

Police found Ramey in a fruit cellar in the basement of his Palmer Avenue home on the South Side with his arms and legs bound and 25 stab wounds to his head and neck.

Lewis sold drugs from Ramey’s house in exchange for providing Ramey with crack cocaine, police said at trial.

Ramey’s daughter called Lewis a monster.

“I don’t understand how a human can do that to another human,” she said.

She lamented that her father will not be there to walk her down the aisle when she gets married.

Earlier Tuesday, Judge Sweeney sentenced Calvin Shelton, 28, and Felicia Ward, 25, to four years in prison each on kidnapping charges for their involvement in Ramey’s murder.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss other charges for their cooperation and their agreement to testify in Lewis’ trial.

The pair admitted to helping tie Ramey up, but said Lewis wielded the knife used to kill Ramey.

“The state didn’t want to make these plea agreements but felt it was necessary,” said Rob Andrews, assistant county prosecutor.

Lewis and Ward sold the sofa and couch in Ramey’s home to a friend of Ward’s while Ramey’s body remained in the basement, which yielded the tampering with evidence charge.

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