Two alternate jurors have been called in to consider the case of a man accused of raping a University of Alabama student at gunpoint after the Iron Bowl three years ago.
Prosecutors rested their case against Colby Lewis, 21, on Wednesday. His attorneys rested that afternoon without calling any witnesses.
The case was sent to a jury Thursday, but one juror was dismissed and an alternate was called in to begin the process again Friday. On Friday afternoon, a second juror was dismissed, leading court officials to recall a second alternate juror who was sent home after the testimony concluded. They will reconvene Monday and begin a third round of deliberations.
Lewis is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary and third-degree theft against a woman who was a UA student in 2016.
The woman, now 22, testified Tuesday that Lewis walked into her townhouse on Convent Street and attacked her as she was getting ready for bed.
The attack caused alarm throughout the community, with police warning women to walk in groups in the Strip and nearby off-campus housing areas. A composite sketch was released along with a $5,000 reward offer from the governor's office for information. It was more than a year later that investigators matched a DNA sample in the state's database to Lewis.
He has been in custody since his arrest Jan. 29, 2018.
The woman cried at times as she was questioned by attorneys.
She said she had been drinking with friends throughout the day and walked home because they wanted to stay out. She left her door unlocked because guests who didn’t have keys were staying for the night.
She said she was in the upstairs bathroom when she heard who she thought was a roommate or friend come inside. She said she walked out to find Lewis at the top of the stairs.
“I thought he made a mistake and walked in the wrong apartment,” she said. “I didn’t think he was there to hurt me.”
She said he pulled a gun and pointed it at her head before demanding money. She didn’t have any, and offered to go to an ATM before he forced her into her bedroom, she said.
She said he seemed nervous as he took her phone and made her restore it to factory settings.
“He said ‘Take off your clothes. Take off your clothes!' I did. I had a gun pointed at my head. What was I supposed to do?”
She then gave a detailed account, saying Lewis assaulted her and eventually left, agreeing to return the credit cards she had in her phone case and throwing them at her as he left.
The woman said she drove to a friend’s home, where they called her mother.
“I heard her heart break in her voice,” she said. A friend’s brother drove her to file a police report and to DCH Regional Medical Center where a rape kit was done. It was more than a year before the DNA sample matched with one taken from Lewis in another case.
During closing arguments, Lewis' attorneys suggested the woman was intoxicated the night in question and had inconsistencies with her testimony and the statements she gave police in 2016. She left the courtroom crying during the proceedings.