Lewis, Duan L.

Duan L. Lewis

DECATUR — Duan L. Lewis was sentenced 20 years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery to a child in the 2017 death of Daniya Lewis, who was one day short of 6 months old. 

Macon County Circuit Court records show that the 25-year-old Decatur man previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder on April 19, 2017. Court records show that as a result of pleading guilty to the additional counts Monday, charges of murder with intent to kill or injure and two counts of murder with strong probability to kill or injure were dismissed.

Lewis was sentenced to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the involuntary manslaughter charge, to be followed by a two-year period of mandatory supervised release. He was also sentenced to 10 years for the aggravated battery charge with a three-year period of mandatory supervised release to follow, the court records show. 

Due to the nature of the incident and the criminal record of Lewis, who was a parolee at the time of the incident, his sentences will run consecutively, the court records show.

On March 23, 2017, Decatur Fire Department EMTs called for police assistance after responding to a call and finding an unresponsive baby in an eastside home, said a probable cause affidavit by Decatur police detective Erik Ethell.

Physicians who initially treated Daniya at Decatur Memorial Hospital told police that the results of a CAT scan showed “Daniya possibly suffered head trauma,” the affidavit said.

Daniya never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead March 28 at HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, where she had been airlifted for specialized emergency treatment. 

Daniya's cause of death was listed as “consistent with shaken baby syndrome,” with injuries including bleeding of the retinas of her eyes, bleeding of the brain and a lack of oxygen to the brain.

In a police interview, Lewis admitted that he “became angry and forcefully threw Daniya” onto her bed, which caused her to bounce up multiple times because he threw her so hard, according to the affidavit.

“Duan stated that when he threw her he thought he may have 'broken her neck,'” Ethell wrote in his statement.

Lewis was arrested soon after her death.

The court records show that Lewis will receive credit for time that he has served in custody from March 29, 2017, to Sunday. He must also register under the Violent Offenders Against Youth Act for 10 years due to his guilty plea for the aggravated battery to a child charge. 

2018 mug shuts from the Herald & Review

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR


Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Herald & Review.

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