A Springhill man pled guilty to attempted armed robbery in front of 26th Judicial District Judge Jeff Thompson this week.
Bernell Lewis was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery with the use of a firearm.
The attempted murder charge was dismissed and the armed robbery charge was amended in exchange for his testimony against Mattavious Wortham, who carries a laundry list of charges.
Assistant District Attorney Hugo Holland says there was no evidence he tried to commit murder, hence the reason the charge was dismissed.
“There was no evidence Mr. Lewis attempted to murder anyone, and that was not a good charge,” he said in an email to the Press-Herald. “He should not have been arrested for it nor should our office have filed a bill against him for it. He pled guilty…with a cap on his sentence of 10 years, with the understanding he was going to cooperate in the trial of his much more dangerous co-defendant, Mr. Mattraveous [sic] Wortham. Mr. Lewis will not be sentenced until after he testifies in Mr. Wortham’s trial.”
Status conference for Wortham was moved to Monday, July 20 on charges of distribution of a Schedule II CDS, resisting an officer with force or violence, second degree robbery, attempted armed robbery with the use of a firearm, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted second-degree murder and racketeering.
Sentencing for Lewis has been withheld until after Wortham’s trial, Holland says. Trial for Wortham is tentatively set for Sept. 14, Webster DA officials say.
Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said at the time of Lewis’ arrest that Cullen Police reported two suspects entered a business and went around a counter to the area where a safe was located.
Holland says video shows the two donned masks and went into the business with the intent to rob it. While inside, Wortham apparently fired a round at the owner attempting to kill him, he said.
“They were not able to get into the safe and they did not get any money,” Lynd said. “The suspect fired a shot at the owner, who was not injured. The individuals then left the business on foot.”
According to Wortham’s bill of information, the conspiracy charge stems from when he and Lewis reportedly conspired to
steal merchandise and cash from the business owner.
The incident occurred in October 2014, and the arrest was the result of a joint investigation by both the Cullen and Springhill Police Departments.