Yoga teacher, 53, found guilty of murdering her ex-cop tenant – two decades after he killed his wife – as jury claims she acted in self-defense because she ‘feared’ for her life
- Yoga teacher Dawn Lewis found guilty of murdering her tenant Glenn Richards
- Richards was released from prison for the 2011 murder of his ex-wife
- Lewis claims he tried to kill her and she feared for her life during a “battle”.
- The jury rejected her claim that she defended herself – sentencing is tomorrow
A yoga teacher has been found guilty of murdering her ex-cop tenant — two decades after he killed his wife — after a jury rejected her claim that she acted in self-defense.
Dawn Lewis, 53, was convicted of stabbing Glenn Richards, 61, to death at her home as she wanted to evict him.
During the trial, Mr Richards moved to Glastonbury after being released from prison for the 2011 murder of his ex-wife. She moved in with the defendant in August last year, but prosecutors heard they would argue often and that he would complain about her noise.
Lewis gave evidence at her trial, claiming she feared for her life during a knife “struggle” and claims he had tried to kill her. But after deliberating for nearly nine hours, the jury rejected her claim that she was only defending herself when she carried out the fatal stabbing in April. The guilty verdict was an 11-1 majority that found her guilty.
Dawn Lewis (left) was convicted of stabbing Glenn Richards (right) to death at her home, wanting to evict him
The court previously heard how Mr Richards suffered five major stab wounds, two of which were ‘unsurvivable’.
She suffered three cuts to her thigh, but a doctor told the trial that her injuries “did not seem to fit the description of the attack” and appeared “self-inflicted.”
As part of the trial, CCTV footage was shown of Lewis being arrested at her home on April 18 while Mr Richards was ‘unconscious’ and dying of his injuries.
The trial, at Bristol Crown Court, heard that Mr Richards had been convicted of manslaughter for diminished responsibility in 2002 for the murder of his ex-wife.
Prosecutor Eloise Marshall told the jury they had to decide whether she was acting in self-defense per her emergency call “or whether her story was a lie to cover up a planned attack and set the tone to pretend she was acting in self-defense?” ‘
The verdict was returned after a trial at Bristol Crown Court.
Lewis had said she had become increasingly disturbed by her lodger’s behavior and began carrying a knife when he started talking “in a different way” about his wife’s murder.
She said, “He started fantasizing about how he would do it differently. He would just come out with it.
“I was terrified he’d jump out and stab me.”
Lewis said she was confronted by the defendant on the day of the murder and claimed he had stabbed me with a knife after she said she would call the police.
She added: “He lunged at me and I saw he had a knife. I grabbed his arm. Then I bit him, he dropped the knife.
‘He was going to kill me.
‘I took the knife. I think at the time I thought I stabbed him in the stomach, but he still held me.
“I know I stabbed him, it was me, no one else, I must admit.”
Lewis told the jury he then tried to stab her again during a struggle and she pushed him with her foot and he fell down the stairs.
She told the court, “I wanted him to break a leg or pass out. I wanted him gone.
“He was sitting at the bottom of the stairs, looking up with a knife still in his hand. He was conscious and had the knife in his hand. He then slumped and the knife fell. He shouted ‘help me’.
He grabbed my ankle and I fell to my knees. He went for the knife, but didn’t get it. So I grabbed it and stabbed him.”
Lewis called 999 to report the incident and the call was played to the jury.
When asked by the moderator what exactly happened, she replies: ‘Okay, I don’t know exactly what happened. He’s a renter, I wanted to get him out. He said no.
“I went to the door, he stabbed me in the leg, I took the knife from him, I stabbed him.
‘He fell down the stairs – I stabbed him again, as he tried to take the knife from me. and I called you.’
Video footage played to the jury also showed the moment of her arrest as she yelled at police while being held on the floor, “Check my friend. I’m wounded, but I’m not dead.’