Newly unsealed indictments in Franklin County show that a 2017 murder case is being revived, with Jordan Iman Witcher again charged with killing Moses Lewis.
In 2018, the case against Witcher, then 18, derailed when an investigator admitted that the dying Lewis, 18, only identified his killer as “Jordan,” and that the officer did not question others at the scene to confirm that Witcher was the person named. The investigator’s admission came at a preliminary hearing in Franklin County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and a judge declined to send charges of first-degree murder and other offenses on to a grand jury.
This time, Witcher, now 21, of Rocky Mount, is charged with second-degree murder, along with using a gun to commit a felony, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. A two-day jury trial in Franklin County Circuit Court is scheduled to start on Feb. 23.
Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney A.J. Dudley this week confirmed that the new charges are for the shooting of Lewis, who was 21 when he was found fatally wounded at a house in the 1900 block of Bonbrook Mill Road. Dudley declined to comment on what prompted the revival of the charges or what new evidence might be presented.
Witcher also has more recent charges of armed robbery, attempted malicious wounding, malicious shooting and other offenses pending in Roanoke.
At an April 1 bond hearing in Roanoke, a prosecutor said that a couple told police that on Aug. 31, 2020, they were trying to sell a cellphone near the city bus barn in the 1100 block of Campbell Avenue Southeast and Witcher jumped them with a gun. Also, on Sept. 21, 2020, a prosecutor said, Witcher is blamed for robbing a man who’d just returned home from gambling, taking his cash and phone. A friend of the victim opened fire on the suspect, the prosecutor said, and when police found Witcher, he was wounded.
Witcher’s defense attorney, Rob Dean of Roanoke, said at the April hearing that Witcher would say he was the one who was jumped in the August incident.
Witcher is presently being held at the Western Virginia Regional Jail.