By Nancy McGill
Tuesday, charges against Michael Lewis in Thayer County District Court were dismissed and new charges were filed in Thayer County Court.
In county court, Lewis is charged with three counts of using a deadly weapon to commit a felony and three counts of terroristic threats.
An arrest warrant was filed for Lewis, 21, of Jansen, on the new charges. He had paid 10 percent of the $150,000 bond to the district court and $1,500 was held for bond costs. The remaining $13,500 was transferred to county court for bond on the new charges.
Lewis, who is two weeks away from his 22nd birthday, was charged in district court with first degree assault and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony in the shooting of Reuben Elting at Lewis’s home in Hebron during the early morning hours of Oct. 27, 2018.
Reuben Elting’s brother, Remington, was also at Lewis’s home that night and shot by Lewis. Remington Elting died of his injuries. Lewis was not charged in his death. Reuben Elting was hospitalized in critical condition.
Thayer County Attorney Dan Werner and the Nebraska State Patrol determined Lewis’s actions at his Hebron home were justifiable, Lewis’s attorney, Ben Murray said.
“The shooting in Hebron was justifiable based on the entire investigation,” Murray, who expected the charges to be dismissed, said. “We have the right to defend ourselves.”
Prior to the incident at Lewis’s home, he and Cody Krula had attended a party at 200 N. Elm St., in Davenport. Thayer County deputies answered a call to the address at about 1:30 a.m., because of a physical confrontation and a firearm being “brandished.”
It was reported Lewis had pointed a firearm at another individual during the party. The deputies had to continue the investigation because those responsible for the fight and firearm were no longer at the address when deputies arrived.
The Nebraska State Patrol was called in for the shooting at Lewis’s home and because of it, NSP investigators looked into the Davenport incident.
Krula and Lewis left the party, but returned, and it was then a fight took place in the yard and shots were fired.
Lewis admitted to removing a .22 handgun from Krula’s pickup and firing two rounds into the air during the fight.
Investigators talked to two victims from Davenport and one from Fairfield during their probe.
The victims said Lewis fired at least three times, and pointed the barrel of the gun at all three of the victims. Lewis has denied he pointed the gun at anyone.
State patrol investigators located one spent .22 caliber shell casing from the gun they found at Lewis’s home Oct. 27.
On Oct. 27, brothers, Remington and Reuben Elting, and Chance Gerdes went to Lewis’s home in Hebron. Lewis called the sheriff’s office at approximately 3:24 a.m., to report a break-in and shooting at his home.
The next day, Lewis told investigators he was awakened by Gerdes banging on his front door.
According to an affidavit filed in Thayer County Court, Lewis said he and Gerdes argued and Gerdes tried to push the door open. Lewis was able to shut and lock the door. He then grabbed his 9mm handgun from his bedroom and advised Gerdes he had a gun.
He heard banging at the side door and saw Remington Elting, who grabbed him by the shirt. Lewis said he was able to push Remington Elting away from the door, but the two ended up in an altercation and Lewis shot Remington Elting.
Reuben Elting came around the corner from the front of the house and Lewis pointed his gun at Reuben Elting. Lewis said Reuben Elting didn’t stop coming at Lewis, and Lewis shot him.