Evansville shooting victim out of the hospital, suspect to undergo mental evaluation

Published: Sep. 8, 2016 at 1:01 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2016 at 1:03 AM CDT
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Gerald Lewis (Source: Vanderburgh County Jail)
Gerald Lewis (Source: Vanderburgh County Jail)

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Is an Evansville man accused of shooting a woman in the face competent to stand trial?

That's the question a team of specialists will try to answer when they evaluate 26-year-old Gerald Lewis.

Lewis remains in the Vanderburgh County Jail charged with attempted murder, robbery, and carrying a handgun without a license. The victim, Crystal Cash, is now out of the hospital.

Crystal's brother, Johnny Dickens, has a lot to say about this case. He said he hasn't spoken to his sister since the shooting but is getting regular updates on her recovery from his niece who is a registered nurse.

When it comes to Lewis, the man accused of shooting his sister, he said, he feels bad for him and his family.

"That guy that shot her, I don't hate him," said Dickens. "I feel sorry for him."

Dickens said he'll never understand why Lewis randomly shot his sister and left her for dead at her business in Evansville. But what he said he does know is that Crystal is very lucky to be alive and that he now hopes the man accused of shooting her gets the help he needs.

"Even though this really affected our whole family to the point where we don't really know even how to feel anymore, we're not mad at him," said Dickens. "We feel sorry for him. There's got to be something so wrong with him that he would even imagine something like this, or even carrying something like that out to the point to where he actually did that."

The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office said Lewis will be evaluated by doctors and psychiatrists to see if he's competent to even stand trial in this case. Meanwhile, Crystal is now out of the hospital and recovering at home.

Crystal has her jaw wired shut and Dickens said she's on a feeding tube. Dickens said since her release from the hospital, Crystal has pretty much gone into hiding and hasn't called her family.

Mainly because, Dickens said, he believes Crystal fears someone associated with Lewis might try to attack her again or even her family.

"You don't have to hide," said Dickens. "You don't have to go through this alone. We're all right there with you. So, you know, it wouldn't hurt to call your Momma."

Dickens said this situation has affected his family so deeply, that he has to believe it's also affected Lewis' family as well.

He had these words for the man accused of shooting his sister.

"How are you going to sit there and try to kill somebody for no reason at all and then what in the hell you think -- don't worry about what it's done to me and my family, what in the hell you think it's done to your family," asked Dickens.

Dickens said he would like to see Lewis charged with a hate crime, but Indiana is one of a few states that doesn't have a hate crime law.

Lewis is scheduled to be back in court on November 30.

Of course, we'll keep you updated.

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