By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
Before we get into this part of the story, it’s important to understand a few key facts about the information you’re about to receive.
First and foremost, this is not my opinion about what happened the morning Andrew Lewis was killed.
Second, this is a collection of information from several sources, but it is primarily the re-telling of the story Eli Miller and Mary Jehle, mostly through their attorneys, told Montgomery Police Department officers at the scene and in subsequent interrogations.
Third, I am not asking you to believe or dismiss this version of events. I am simply relaying it in order to provide you with some understanding of what MPD has been told and to provide you with the most complete picture available.
So, here we go ….
After they left the Ripley Street MPD precinct, where they filed a complaint against Lewis and he answered by filing a complaint against Miller, Jehle and Miller proceeded in two cars to Jehle’s parents’ house on Greystone Drive, a block away from Bell Road.
According to three sources with knowledge of the story Jehle and Miller told police, as they approached Greystone, Lewis pulled out from a side street, where he was waiting, and got behind Jehle’s car. (Another source has told me that MPD is in possession of security camera footage from a nearby neighborhood that shows a white SUV that looks like the Ford Explorer that Lewis was driving sitting at the entrance to a neighborhood.)
At that point, the sources said a chase ensued between the three cars down Monticello and onto Bell. It wasn’t particularly fast in speed, but the cars left the roadway several times and there were allegations that Lewis’ SUV hit Jehle’s car at least once. (MPD detectives relayed that information to Lewis’ mother and sister in the initial interview with them, but later denied the cars made contact and denied that they told the Lewis family that information.)
Shortly after turning onto Bell, Jehle made a sudden stop and pulled to the side of the road. Lewis continued south on Bell for a short distance. In the meantime, the sources said Miller and Jehle told police that Miller exited his car and went to check on Jehle.
After exiting his car, the sources said Miller told police that Lewis drove his SUV into the back of Miller’s car in an attempt to strike Miller. Miller was able to avoid that contact, they said, and pulled his handgun shortly after.
The sources said Miller told MPD that Lewis then sped towards him a second time, at which point Miller began to fire into the car. At least one of the bullets fired into the car struck Lewis in the head, killing him.
Lewis car left the roadway at that point and rolled down the embankment, over a berm, made a sharp turn to the left and came to a stop near a power pole.
The sources said Miller told police that he went to the SUV and removed Lewis. Miller wrapped his arms under Lewis’, and dragged him, chest to back, up the embankment and onto Bell Road, where he placed Lewis in the southbound lane and tried to determine if CPR could save his life.
(It should be noted that Miller was a medic in the military with combat training.)
There is video of at least a portion of this. One of the witnesses who spoke with police provided cell phone video of Miller dragging Lewis and of Lewis’ car on fire.
Oddly, four separate sources also confirmed that a second video of Miller dragging Lewis onto Bell Road was provided to MPD by Jehle, who began filming the aftermath of the incident on her cell phone.
Numerous sources have confirmed that there is no video of the actual shooting or of the chase. That has left police to rely only on witness statements and forensic evidence to determine the truth of what happened. And that has proven difficult.
Sources within MPD said that the ballistic evidence that Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey is awaiting involves primarily determining the direction of the shots fired into Lewis’ car. That evidence was made more difficult to obtain because of the damage to Lewis’ car caused by the fire. Also, investigators looked into the cause of that fire.
I asked Miller numerous times to comment for this story and offered to ask questions through his attorney, Andrew Skier. He repeatedly declined and Skier issued only this statement:
“We have maintained from the beginning of this matter that Eli Miller acted legally and appropriately during the incident in January, 2016 on Bell Road. In the thirteen months since the incident, nothing has changed. Eli has never been arrested nor charged with any offense related to this incident.
“For the past thirteen months, we have been in regular contact with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office as well as others involved with the investigation. We are confident that the Montgomery County Grand Jury will be given a full and complete picture of the events that led up to that evening and early morning. Despite the desire of some parties, this case will not be decided in the print media, on blogs, or on social media sites.
“Eli looks forward to the opportunity to tell the full story of this matter, and to correct the many misrepresentations that have been made and repeated regarding the facts, as well as the character assassination toward Eli himself, but that opportunity will have to wait until the legal process has run its course.”
And that is The Other Side of this incredibly awful story.