Authorities have located the Iowa young woman who escaped a women’s detention center and jeopardized a judge’s lenient sentence after she killed a man she said raped her. Reports are saying she has exhausted all hope, with her running away one of several violations to her probation that spared her decades of jail time.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Des Moines Police Department suspended their five-day search for Pieper Lewis. The 18-year-old is now back in authorities’ custody after going on the lam on Friday, Nov. 4, cutting off her GPS tracker so that no one could monitor her movements, WPDE reports.
Now, the teen finds herself in a more oppressive circumstance, booked into the Polk County Jail.
The agencies were on full alert when she went missing, putting extensive resources on the ground to find her. But now more information has been revealed about her case, making her plight much less sympathetic to authorities.
Those who run the Fresh Start facility At which she was spending her sentence said she had violated her probation terms multiple times. Now Lewis faces a misdemeanor charge for running.
In September, after Lewis pled guilty in 2021 to involuntary manslaughter, Polk County Judge David Porter sentenced Lewis to probation for five years for killing 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, a married father of two, on June 1, 2020.
Lewis stabbed Brooks more than 30 times in an apartment, but after hearing her tale of abuse, a judge deferred a judgment which could have possibly sentenced her to 20 years prison. She said, “I felt that I was in danger.”
The judge allowed Lewis to serve the time at the women’s shelter.
Porter set a plan that if she fulfilled the probation, she could have her record expunged upon completion of the requirements of her probation.
The judge warned the young woman that this was her second and last chance. “You don’t get a third,” Porter said.
In addition to the probation, Porter said Lewis must pay the $150,000 restitution to the estate of the victim the state requires from those convicted of a felony homicide. While her lawyers were against the restitution, one of Lewis’ teachers set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay the fee and set up money for college and her future. The crowd fundraising effort raised $560,000 for her.
As of Wednesday, Nov. 9, Lewis’ restitution fee has not been satisfied, and her lawyer has but one day to submit a filing to the judge to have him reconsider the six-figure number. With her recent actions, the effort could prove to be futile.
Lewis is due back in court on Nov. 18. Authorities have solicited a revocation of her probation and the judge’s deferred judgment. These officials also want Lewis to be sent from the county jail straight to prison.
KCCI cites Polk County Attorney John Sarcone as saying this will only happen if the judge determines she has broken the terms of the probation he gave her.