Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

2nd Man Sentenced in `Despicable' Crime Two Await Trial in Bludgeoning Death

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

2nd Man Sentenced in `Despicable' Crime Two Await Trial in Bludgeoning Death

Article excerpt

Jason S. Swartz, 18, pleaded guilty Monday of first-degree murder for his part in the baseball-bat beating death of Angela C. Lewis last year at her home near Belleville.

In exchange for Swartz's plea, the prosecutor, assistant St. Clair County state's attorney Judy Dalan, recommended the minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. Circuit Judge Jan V. Fiss handed down that sentence on the spot.

Swartz was the second of four defendants to be sentenced. James E. "Pooh" Cotton, 21, was convicted earlier and sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison. The man who prosecutors say wielded the bat, Glen T. Williams, 21, is awaiting trial, along with Matthew D. Ness, 17. All four defendants lived near Belleville, two of them in the same neighborhood as the victim. Cotton claimed at his sentencing that he had been horrified at seeing Lewis, 21, beaten to death in front of her screaming 2-year-old daughter. Under the Illinois "truth in sentencing" law, both Swartz and Cotton must serve their full sentences. …

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