A Tucson man was sentenced to a no-parole life term Monday in the November 2010 death of his girlfriend’s former boyfriend.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Michael Miller could have given Scott Mediz, 33, a shot at release after 25 years, but chose not to because Mediz killed Jerry Lewis in the presence of children, in an especially cruel and heinous manner and while on parole in another violent assault case. Miller also noted Mediz could have stopped at numerous points throughout the incident.
Miller also sentenced Mediz to a concurrent 15.75 years in prison for kidnapping.
During Mediz’s trial last month, prosecutor Lindsay St. John told jurors Sara Golden and Mediz plotted Lewis’ death. St. John presented evidence Golden lured Lewis, 30, to the home she shared with Mediz by telling him that she wanted him back.
Golden, 33, arranged for a taxi to bring Lewis to her home near South Kino Parkway and East 36th Street on Nov. 21, 2010, and when he arrived, Mediz brutally beat him. Mediz later stuffed him into a Mazda hatchback, jurors were told. Lewis died of positional asphyxiation after Mediz got a flat tire and abandoned the car in a convenience store parking lot.
On Monday, Miller heard prepared statements from Lewis’ parents, Jerry Lewis and Margarita Soto Lewis.
Lewis’ father recalled feeling like a professional prize fighter after being told of his son’s death. It was as though he’d been punched in the face and below the belt at the same time. His son loved his nieces and nephews. He also “loved to cook, but hated doing the dishes.”
Because of Mediz, they will never know what the future had had in store for their son, he said.
Margarita Soto Lewis said she still has days when she wakes up expecting her son to call her to breakfast. Her heart aches all of the time and so few understand “what it feels like to have part of yourself ripped away.”
Still, her son wouldn’t have wanted her to give up, she said.
During Mediz’s trial, Assistant Pima County Public Defender Joel Feinman told jurors Golden lured Lewis to her home without Mediz’s knowledge knowing the two men would end up fighting.
Lewis was armed with a box cutter and a bat when he arrived that morning, and Mediz beat Lewis in self-defense, Feinman said.
During the trial, jurors heard several voice-mail messages in which Golden said she wanted Lewis tortured and killed for molesting a family member.
They also saw two videotaped interviews with Golden's 6-year-old daughter recalling incriminating conversations between Mediz and Golden.
The girl also described Lewis going to sleep after Mediz hit him, Mediz cleaning up blood and then wrapping Lewis in a blanket and putting him in the car.
The girl also testified she heard her mother saying “Thank you” and “Good job.”
Golden is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 4.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @KimSmithStar
On StarNet: Follow the news and events at Pima County's courthouses in Kim Smith's blog, At the Courthouse, at azstarnet.com/courthouse