Algeria Canales, a sister of Alisha Canales-McGuire, becomes emotional while speaking with deputy prosecutor Jarett Goodkin, after the jury found Kevin Lewis guilty of first-degree murder Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Algeria Canales, a sister of Alisha Canales-McGuire, becomes emotional while speaking with deputy prosecutor Jarett Goodkin, after the jury found Kevin Lewis guilty of first-degree murder Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Jury: Lynnwood man guilty in botched murder-for-hire

After weeks of testimony, a jury needed one afternoon to convict Kevin Lewis of aggravated murder of Alisha Canales-McGuire.

EVERETT — It took a jury less than 3½ hours to convict Kevin Lewis of aggravated first-degree murder Thursday, in a killing-for-hire that left the target’s sister dead.

The jury of seven women and five men spent nearly six weeks in Snohomish County Superior Court absorbing testimony about the killing of Alisha Canales-McGuire, 24, of Birdsview.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered closing arguments Thursday morning in a trial over which Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson presided.

In 2017, Lewis paid $2,400 to his cousin, Jerradon Phelps, to get somebody “out of the way,” according to charging papers.

Phelps and his friend, Alexis Hale, drove from Spokane to Everett on Sept. 20, 2017, where Lewis directed them to the home of his ex-wife — the target.

But when Phelps knocked on the ex-wife’s front door just south of Everett, it was her sister, Canales-McGuire, who answered. Phelps opened fire, killing her. Lewis’ ex-wife had been on a business trip in New York City. The sister was staying at her house, babysitting three children.

Defense attorney Michele Shaw argued Lewis never actually said the word “kill” when talking with Phelps, and that the central question of the case was whether Lewis actually hired his cousin to kill.

“There were a lot of assumptions made in this case. That’s from Mr. Phelps himself,” Shaw told the courtroom. “‘Get somebody out of the way?’ No, that has different interpretations.”

Deputy prosecutor Jarett Goodkin pointed to Lewis’ history of violence and death threats toward his ex-wife in explaining his motive.

“This case is about power and control,” Goodkin said.

The jury sided with prosecutors.

Defendant Kevin Lewis listens while Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson reads the guilty verdict Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Defendant Kevin Lewis listens while Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson reads the guilty verdict Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Lewis threatened to kill his ex-wife months before he tried to get her killed, the charges say.

In 2018, the Lynnwood man was sentenced to three years in prison for two counts of second-degree assault against his ex-wife. At a sentencing hearing in that domestic violence case, his ex-wife told a judge she believed the fatal shots were meant for her.

The ex-wife testified in the murder trial of Lewis.

“Normally, when people threaten to kill you, it doesn’t feel serious,” the woman, 27, said on the witness stand.

But this time, it did feel serious, she said.

The gunman, Phelps, also took the witness stand in the trial. He told the courtroom he only knew the address he was supposed to target, not the name of the woman he was supposed to kill.

Last year, Phelps pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. His sentencing is scheduled for December. Hale pleaded guilty to the same crime last year. She was given 15 years behind bars.

Lewis had been charged with murder in 2019, while he was in custody for his assault convictions.

The Lynnwood man was being held in the Snohomish County Jail without bail.

He faces only one possible sentence: life in prison.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 4.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Providence nurse’s tearful plea shines light on short-staffed ER

The nurse described an overwhelmed emergency department, as staff have pleaded with the Everett City Council for hazard pay.

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. A leading doctor who chairs a World Health Organization expert group described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as "a random event" that might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Snohomish Health District hiring full-time monkeypox task force

The county is gearing up for more cases. The outbreak will be evaluated weekly to decide if a four-person team is merited.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Body found in impounded car in Lake Stevens

In June, Bothell police impounded the vehicle. Last week, a Lake Stevens business found a body inside.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
California woman dies after motorcycle crash west of Lake Stevens

Kimberly Moore was the passenger on a motorcycle Friday morning. She died the next night. She was 53.

At the Lifelong office in Everett, community members created these wings to honor the victims of the AIDS epidemic. Each feather contains the name of a friend or loved one lost to the disease. (Natalie Kahn / The Herald)
A daily pill could virtually end HIV, if people only knew to get it

Less than a quarter of Washingtonians at highest risk of HIV use PrEP. Why so low? “Stigma,” an Everett nurse practitioner said.

A view of the proposed alternative station location to Everett Station located east of the current BNSF rail tracks in downtown. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Could light rail station under Pacific Avenue and over railroad work?

A group representing people around Everett Station wants Sound Transit to study the idea.

State Representative Robert Sutherland, left, gives a thumbs-up to passing drivers as he and a few volunteers wave flags and campaign signs along the side of State Route 9 on July 22, in Lake Stevens. Sam Low, right, talks with seniors on July 20 in Lake Stevens. (Sutherland photo by Ryan Berry / The Herald, Low photo by Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In GOP battle of Sutherland vs. Low, Democrats may tip the scale

The state lawmaker and Snohomish County council member are vying for a House seat. Democrats make up roughly 40% of the vote.

Food forum
Chocolate peanut butter Incredibles

These chocolate peanut butter bars are, as the name suggests, incredible.

SnoTown Brewing’s Frank Sandoval in 2019. (Aaron Swaney)
SnoTown Brewery owner charged with child molestation

Frank Sandoval conceded his conduct with a girl at his brewery was inappropriate, but he denied touching her sexually, charges say.

Most Read