Family has questions about 'justice delayed'

Monday, November 3rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Creek County family can't understand why the effort to prosecute the man who killed their mother is going to take more than a year.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright helps them get answers.

Bea Lewis and her two sisters had just learned their mother died on January 8th, so they were going to the funeral home when they were in a car accident. Bea and her sister Sue were killed, the third sister lived.

The family has since set up a memorial alongside Highway 97 where it happened. The man who hit them was Carroll McGowan, who's around 80 years old. The police report shows Mr. McGowan was driving, ran a stop sign and broadsided the women's SUV. It says they overcorrected and they ended up flipping three and a half times.

McGowan was charged with two counts of negligent homicide, which are misdemeanors. Bea and Sue's family keeps going to court, but the case keeps getting postponed. Now, it's been moved all the way to next January. The family isn't even pushing for jail time.

Terrell Lewis, Bea's Son: "He's not going to spend any time, we'd like to get his driver's license. He's driving up and down this highway right now. How many people is he going to kill?" Bea Lewis was the glue that held her five children and 26 grand and great children together, a respected nurse for more than 30 years. Her family feels they're getting the run-around when it comes to getting information and getting this case resolved and they want answers.

Terrell Lewis: "Mom took care of people and it seems they want to treat her like she didn't even exist, why?" Even answers of course, won't ever completely heal this family's pain. The women’s families did file civil lawsuits against McGowan; the cases were settled out of court.

McGowan's nephew says it was very unfortunate accident and the criminal case is pending.

The judge delayed all misdemeanor cases until January 17th when McGowan's case is set for a jury trial.