Donald Lewis Obituary, Death – On Friday night, a lady was found dead at the Belen Sonic Drive-In after what was said to be a struggle over mail. A Belen man has been charged with an open count of murder in connection with the death. After reportedly shooting and killing Lisa Swiftbird, 45, Donald R. Lewis, 25, from Belen was taken into custody, charged, and placed into the Valencia County Detention Centre early on Saturday, July 1.
According to the probable cause statement that was submitted to the Magistrate Court, the incident began at the intersection of Main Street and Reinken Avenue when Lewis was accosted by his brother, Jonathon Brawley. The document was presented in the court. Brawley, Swiftbird’s fiance, told the detectives that the couple had moved out of a residence they had been sharing with Lewis and his partner around the time Father’s Day rolled around last month.
Lewis and his boyfriend had been living there as well. After that, he said, Lewis and his boyfriend started contacting them, threatening to come to their new home in Socorro and shoot and murder them. He said this happened after the incident. On the evening of Friday, June 30, Brawley and Swiftbird followed Lewis after seeing him driving in Belen. Brawley stepped out of his vehicle when they both stopped at the junction of Main and Reinken.
He then walked around to Lewis’ side of his vehicle, knocked on the window, and asked Lewis if the mail for Swiftbird had been delivered to the residence in Belen. Lewis responded that it had. Brawley then got back in his vehicle. According to the statement, a witness in Lewis’ car contradicted Brawley’s claim that Lewis was holding a pistol and threatening to shoot him. Brawley claims that Lewis was brandishing a handgun and threatening to shoot him.
Lewis got back in his car, drove away, and then turned west onto Aragon Road before pulling into the parking lot of the Sonic restaurant and waiting in line for the drive-through. Brawley told detectives that after the couple had followed Lewis, Swift Bird had approached the vehicle from the driver’s side and started banging on the glass. Brawley then stated that he had heard a gun shot and observed his brother fleeing the scene of the incident. He found Swiftbird lying on the ground with a chest wound consistent with a gunshot.
A passenger who was riding along with Lewis in his vehicle reported to police that she heard him state that Swift Bird was banging on the window while she had a knife in her hand, but she did not see the knife herself. There is no indication in the statement of probable cause as to whether or not a knife was discovered at the scene. After fleeing in his vehicle from the Sonic, Lewis made a U-turn and drove back to the fast food establishment, where he made a 911 call from the parking lot.
Lewis told detectives that Brawley and Swiftbird had been harassing him ever since the couple moved out, but he could only describe the situation as “he said, she said.” Lewis also stated that the issue was “he said, she said.” Lewis reportedly told authorities that while Swiftbird was allegedly holding a knife in her hand and knocking on his window, he opened his door to force her away from his home.
Lisa reached out and grabbed hold of the door. According to the statement, “Donald shot Lisa because he was unsure whether or not she was going to stab him.” According to the probable cause statement signed by Detective Joe Rodriguez of the Belen Police Department, who conducted the interview with Lewis, the investigator inquired as to why Lewis did not drive away when Swiftbird was beating on his window or call 911 due to the claimed harassment.
Lewis’s response was, “I don’t know,” and he repeated, “I don’t know. I wasn’t even considering it at the time.” During the investigation of the crime scene, a Canik T9 handgun was discovered in Lewis’ vehicle, where it had been sitting on the front seat. He told the officers that his name was on the weapons registration. The statement of probable causes comes to the conclusion that Lewis had a reasonable opportunity to escape the situation before it escalated. Additionally, he had the ability to phone 911 to report the brawl that took place on Friday night as well as the past incidences of harassment.