I am a Killer season 1, episode 6 recap: Declared Competent


Episode 6 of I am a Killer looks at the case of David Lewis, who killed an elderly woman in Wells, Texas during a home invasion.

As this episode of I am a Killer begins, David Lewis tells us he’s “sitting in limbo.” He adds that, sure, you might think you’re tough, but if you’re a murderer, you’re nothing.

Those are wise words coming from someone considered mentally challenged. He also doesn’t deny responsibility for his crimes.  What’s the main crime David’s known for?

In 1986, Lewis shot and killed 74-year-old Myrtle Ruby during a break-in, and he’s been on death row since 1987. In his first interview with I am a Killer, David relates that he had a lack of solid foundation, and he became a “wild child.”

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He felt no one cared about him, so he did as he pleased.  When he was kicked out at age 16, he became a thief, and an alcoholic and drug user. Because he didn’t care about consequences, he broke into houses and stores.

On the night of the Ruby shooting, David Lewis was originally out hunting, but he fell into his habit of thieving. He entered Ruby’s home through an open window. He says that, at some point, he heard Ruby in the dark and, without really thinking, shot her.

Then he struck her in the head with his gun.  The police found him later at his grandfather’s place, and he was tied to the scene through his footprints.  Lewis initially denied his guilt but confessed when Police tried to implicate his grandfather in it.

Still, according to Lewis, it wasn’t until 2004 that he fully came to terms with what he’d done, and accepted his fate, whatever it shall be.

Evidence, Competence, and Influence

I am a Killer considers numerous views on the case. Steve Cooper, former Deputy of the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office, shows us the actual cast of David’s shoe imprint. Although he knows David’s guilty, he doesn’t believe Lewis went there intending to kill anyone.

Jon Anderson, David’s Attorney at the time, expresses concerns over Lewis’s mental competence. David’s IQ ranges somewhere between 69 and 85, while the average is 98. This makes him “borderline intellectually disabled,” calling into question whether he understood his rights.

Linda Lewis, David’s mother, says his brain and eyes were damaged in childbirth, and that he didn’t understand most of his homework as a child.

She says she tried to teach him right from wrong, that he’s not a monster, and that she’ll always love him dearly. In slight contrast, Rhonda Oaks, former Reporter for Lufkin Daily News, cites David as evidence that you can’t trust everyone.

She maintains that the Jury tried to be impartial, but the murder of Myrtle Ruby was a cold-blooded act.

I am a Killer also interviews Dr. Richard Garnett, a Mental Impairment Specialist who was consulted during the trial. He suggests that, contrary to stereotypes of constant intelligence or impairment, a person’s mental faculties fluctuate. It could be a big deal.

In 2002, the Supreme Court made it illegal to execute the intellectually impaired, or those with IQs below 70. Had Lewis been found mentally incompetent, he could not legally have an execution date.

Of course, some echo the view of Myrtle’s nephew, David Ruby. He argues mental capacity’s not the issue, but whether or not someone’s a continued threat to society.

Regarding competency, David’s mom thinks her son was impressionable, and that others helped him down a dark road. Specifically, she singles out his uncle, A.L. Thompson, and his “outlaw” image.

Two months before the Ruby shooting, Ruben Gonzalez of the Oyster Creek Police Department investigated a violent robbery in Freeport. It was A.L. Thompson who called about the robbery, pinning it on his nephew David. David confessed to this crime.

Confession and Admission

Jon Anderson wasn’t happy that the other confession was allowed into court. He argues that, once someone acquires a Lawyer, any confession requires the consent of the defendant’s counsel.
Anderson says he was never notified of the confession, and it, therefore, shouldn’t have been considered legal evidence.

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However, David Lewis himself puts that all aside. He admits to doing the crime. Yes, he had bad influences, may have had some impaired judgment and was an alcoholic, but he was still responsible.

He also says he was naturally a thief, even as a kid. As an example, he says that, if he wanted tennis shoes from the store, he’d just take them off the shelf, put them on and walk out. In fact, he says that, had he been the Prosecutor, the Judge or among the Jury, he’d feel the same way they did about him.

That’s it for this I am a Killer recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!