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

Clyde Shavers, left, and Greg Gilday.
Shavers wins by narrow margin as Dems flip seat in 10th District

Democrat Clyde Shavers won by 211 votes against incumbent state Rep. Greg Gilday. It’s close enough for a recount.

Arlington
Edmonds man hospitalized after shooting in Arlington

The man, 30, was found Monday night in the 500 block of N. Macleod Avenue after reports of an assault.

Snow lingered outside the office building of Receivables Performance Management on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood data breach exposed sensitive info for 3.7 million across US

Lawsuits allege lax security at a debt collection agency led to the attack. It wasn’t announced for over a year.

The Washington State Patrol was investigating a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles Thursday on Highway 530 near Oso. (Washington State Patrol)
Highway 530 reopens after fatal crash east of Arlington

There was no detour for several hours Thursday afternoon as detectives investigated the crash.

Teen killed in Everett crash, shooting identified

No arrests have been made in the Friday night killing of 17-year-old Gabriel Kartak, of Seattle.

The crab doughnut at Market in Edmonds is a strange delight, with a sweet and dense glazed doughnut topped with bright and briny dungeness crab salad, nutty browned butter and a shower of smoky bacon bits. (Taylor Goebel / The Herald)
This idyllic dining destination is right in Snohomish County

Edmonds boasts fresh seafood, Caribbean-inspired sandwiches, artisan breads, cocktails and more.

Marysville Jail (City of Marysville)
Man with hepatitis C accused of spitting on Marysville jail staff

Hepatitis C is usually spread through blood. The suspect, 28, faces allegations of exposing the officers to a contagious disease.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Washington state.
Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7

Find information and resources to help make the best choice for you.

Sunlight illuminates a framed photograph of Mila and Wilfrido Sarmiento while their daughter Rowella Sarmiento cries reading her statement to the court during Caleb Wride’s sentencing on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At sentencing, family mourns parents killed in fatal DUI crash

Caleb Wride, 23, of Everett, was sentenced Monday for the head-on crash that killed Mila and Wilfrido Sarmiento.

Most Read