Aaron Mays and Gitano Lewis; both of Gulfport, pled guilty last week to one count of Second-Degree Murder and one count of Aggravated Assault. Circuit Court Judge Christopher Schmidt sentenced both defendants to 40 years.
The murder investigation began shortly after midnight on May 25, 2020, when the Gulfport Police Department responded to 911 calls at Emerald Pines Apartments on 39th Avenue.
When police arrived, they located one victim suffering from a single gunshot wound to the arm and were notified that a second victim had been taken to the hospital in a private vehicle. The second victim, Tremaine Brown, was shot one time in the back and would later die from his injuries.
Investigators interviewed multiple witnesses, who identified Mays and Lewis as the shooters, and told police the victim of the aggravated assault was unarmed when he answered the door, and Brown was walking toward the door with his back turned when he was shot and killed.
The following night, a D’Iberville Police officer located Mays and Lewis, and placed them under arrest. At the time of their arrest, Lewis had a .22 caliber pistol in a holster on her hip, and Mays had a 9mm pistol on the floorboard of the passenger seat in which he was seated.
Both Mays and Lewis provided police with recorded statements in which they admitted culpability for the shooting of both men. Lewis and Mays admitted in their statements to leaving their apartment in Emerald Pines, taking their children to a relative’s home, and returning to Emerald Pines armed with pistols to fight.
Lewis and Mays further claimed that both victims had guns and that one of the victims fired first.
“However, forensic evidence would prove that all shell casings recovered from the crime scene were fired from Mays’ pistol. During her plea, Lewis admitted that she never saw either victim with a gun. Lewis also admitted that she tried to shoot her gun, but it did not fire,” said Assistant District Attorney Ian Baker, who prosecuted the case.
During sentencing, Judge Schmidt told the defendant’s that “today’s culture does not value human life. They operate on emotional triggers.”
Judge Schmidt then sentenced Lewis to a total of 40 years, with 15 years suspended, leaving 25 years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.
Mays was sentenced to a total of 40 years, with 10 years suspended, leaving 30 years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.
“We commend the Gulfport Police Department and the members of the community who came forward and provided information which resulted in these convictions. Their work and assistance helped bring closure in the criminal case, and justice to this family who lost a loved one,” said District Attorney W. Crosby Parker.