To some, Teresa Lewis is a cold and manipulative mastermind who conspired to have her husband and stepson shot so she could use the insurance money to take up with another man, says the Washington Post. Others see her as a simple – even childlike – woman with the mental capacity of a 13-year-old who was drawn into a terrible crime by a scheming lover. If neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor Gov. Robert McDonnell intervenes, Lewis will become the first woman executed in Virginia in nearly 100 years and the 12th nationwide since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Both of her co-conspirators, the men who fired the deadly shots, received life terms. Lewis’s execution is scheduled for Sept. 23.
“I didn’t pull the trigger, but I did do wrong, and I let two people that I love be taken away, and I hurt other people I love very much. I really know that now,” Lewis, a 41-year-old mother of two, said in an interview. “I’m scared to death,” she said. “I want to keep living. I don’t want to die.” Lewis and her supporters do not argue that she should be freed. They say evidence has emerged that she was a puppet to a much smarter conspirator. She has reinvented herself as a counselor of sorts, a calming maternal influence to fellow inmates, they say. Prosecutor David Grimes, who went to the Lewis house the night Julian Clifton Lewis Jr. and Charles “C.J.” Lewis were slain, said the punishment is just. “What she got was fair,” Grimes said. “She knew these people loved her, and she used that to set them up. In some ways, it’s worse than a stranger. It shows how cold she is.”