N. Bay Shore man pleads guilty in murders of ex and her son
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The family of a North Bay Shore woman wept quietly Tuesday as her former boyfriend admitted fatally stabbing her and beating her 23-month-old son to death.
Jerry Lewis, 25, also of North Bay Shore, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in the December 2011 deaths of Shakeela Planter, 21, and her son, Jaiden. In return for the plea, state Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro promised to sentence Lewis to 30 years to life in prison. If Lewis is ever paroled, he will then be deported to his native Jamaica.
Although the Suffolk district attorney's office recommended the maximum sentence of life without parole, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said he was satisfied with the outcome.
"This was a fair resolution," he said, adding that he doubted Lewis would ever win parole.
Planter's parents and other family members came from Massachusetts to watch the plea. Her mother, Pamela Planter, said she was satisfied the case will be over soon.
Defense attorney Craig McElwee said his client "has had nothing but remorse" since he met him. He said there was a possible trial defense that Lewis acted during an extreme emotional disturbance, which could have resulted in a manslaughter conviction. But he said his client wanted to end the case.
Kurtzrock said Lewis killed Planter when he found out she was seeing another man, even though their brief relationship was already over.
"According to him, she was being dismissive of him, and that set him off," Kurtzrock said.
During questioning by Kurtzrock, Lewis admitted stabbing Planter numerous times in the head and neck, and beating Jaiden severely.
Kurtzrock said Lewis wrapped Planter in plastic and left her on her bed, and put the boy in a black garbage bag and left him in the freezer. Both bodies were found with bite marks on them.
Lewis stayed at the house with the bodies for three days before driving to Maryland to see his mother.
He confessed to his sister and his mother, who immediately took him to a police station, where he again confessed to Suffolk homicide detectives.