Local News

Widow Of Johnston County Shooting Victim Vows To Make Killer Pay

Posted April 19, 2003

— Theresa McCain laid her husband to rest earlier this month. Now, she and her two children are trying to move on with their lives.

She has vowed that, as long as it takes, she'll find a way to make Ronnie Lewis pay for killing her husband.

"I feel cheated," she said. "My kids don't deserve to have to live without their father."

By all accounts, Charlie McCain was a devoted father of two sons and a loving husband. He met Theresa on a school bus when she was just 15 years old.

"He's my best friend," she said. "He's my very best friend, and best friends don't quit."

Even after death.

Theresa said she won't stop pursuing justice for her husband until Ronnie Lewis pays for shooting Charlie McCain during a confrontation in Lewis' house. She wears Charlie's wedding ring around her neck as a reminder of that promise.

Charlie McCain was shot and killed earlier this month after he confronted Lewis for allegedly exposing himself to McCain's 5-year-old son. He reportedly initiated the confrontation, rushing over to Lewis' house upon learning of the alleged exposure and breaking down Lewis' front door.

"He had every right to be angry," Theresa McCain said. "He had every right to stick up for our family. Our family was violated."

Theresa said she called the Johnston County Sheriff's Office and begged her husband to wait for help prior to the confrontation. But when she heard the gunshot, she knew it was too late.

"He was lying on the porch, and he wasn't moving," she said, "and I begged him not to leave me."

District Attorney Tom Lock said Lewis did not commit murder. Under North Carolina law, a homeowner has the right to use deadly force if he or she feels threatened by an intruder.

According to Theresa, Lewis taunted her husband and planned on killing him. Now, the challenge for her is proving it.

"I believe that there's got to be something," she said, "and if not, I'm going to make sure there's something that if children are involved that law doesn't pertain."

Lewis is still in the Johnston County jail. He's expected to be in court next week for his indecent exposure charges.


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