DES MOINES, Iowa – Attorneys for Pieper Lewis are asking the court to continue a probation violation hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday.
In a motion filed Monday, her attorneys said they want Lewis to undergo an updated psychological evaluation to present to the judge before she is sentenced. They also plan to call several expert witnesses to testify on Lewis’ behalf and need extra time to make sure they are available for the hearing.
State prosecutors in the case are not opposing the motion. They filed their own motion that the sentencing for the escape charge, which Lewis pleaded guilty to earlier this month, be delayed as well. Both the probation violation issue and the escape sentencing were scheduled to be handled during the same hearing Thursday.
The judge in the case ruled Wednesday to grant the continuance. A new date has not yet been set.
Lewis, 18, was sentenced in September after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury in the 2020 death of Zachary Brooks. She was 15 at the time of the crime and claimed she was a victim of sex trafficking and Brooks had repeatedly raped her. She had originally been charged with first-degree murder.
Lewis’ 20-year prison sentence in Brooks’ death was deferred by the judge. Instead, she was given five years of probation and 600 hours of community service. She was also ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to Brooks’ family.
But in November, Lewis cut off her tracking monitor and walked away from the Des Moines facility where she had been ordered to serve her probation. She was back in police custody a few days later and has been in the Polk County Jail since.