Lenny Harris’ killer sentenced to life in prison without parole

Lenny Harris’ killer sentenced to life in prison without parole

By Erich Wagner (File photo)

A Prince George’s County judge gave the man convicted of murdering Alexandria activist Lenny Harris a life sentence last week.

County Circuit Judge Sean Wallace sentenced Tyrone Lewis, 28, to life in prison without parole, plus 120 years, for the 2011 crime. The two other men convicted in connection with the murder of Harris — Linwood Johnson, 49, and Ivan Newman, 20 — still await sentencing. Both pleaded guilty to their role in the slaying.

Harris, 53 at the time, vanished in September 2011. He was found in a Fort Washington well in January 2012 after investigators followed up on an anonymous tip.

Prosecutors said that Lewis, Johnson and Newman were trying to come up with bail money for a friend. Under the guise of wanting to buy outfits from Harris’ clothing line, they met with him in Alexandria before kidnapping him and demanding his ATM and PIN number.

Eventually, the three men took Harris to an abandoned property in Fort Washington, shot him in the head and dumped his body into the well.

After Lewis’ trial, he was convicted on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery, among other offenses. Since his arrest, he has been charged in two other killings, including another homicide in 2011 and one dating back to 2005.

Harris was a frequent advocate for poor and minority populations in the Port City. He founded Operation HOPE — now the Lenny Harris Legacy Corp. — a local organization that ran the annual One Love Festival and supported youth programs.

The Alexandria City Council unanimously voted last month to rename Braddock Field in his honor.