Gulfport couple sentenced after 2020 fatal Emerald Pines shooting

Gitano Lewis, 33 (left), and Aaron Mays, 29 (right), were both sentenced to 40 years after...
Gitano Lewis, 33 (left), and Aaron Mays, 29 (right), were both sentenced to 40 years after being charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault, according to District Attorney W. Crosby Parker.(Harrison County Sheriff's Department)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 9:20 AM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Gulfport couple has been sentenced after pleading guilty last week for a 2020 shooting at Emerald Pines Apartments that killed one man.

Aaron Mays, 29, and Gitano Lewis, 33, were both sentenced to 40 years after being charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault, according to District Attorney W. Crosby Parker.

The investigation started after midnight on May 25, 2020, when Gulfport Police responded to 911 calls at Emerald Pines Apartments on 39th Avenue. When police arrived, they found one victim shot in the arm, and were told that another victim had been taken to the hospital already. That second victim was Tremaine Brown, who was shot in the back and would later die from his injuries.

Initial investigation showed that shots were fired during an altercation, according to police. Multiple witnesses identified Mays and Lewis as the shooters, and told police the victim of aggravated assault was unarmed when he opened the door. Witnesses said Brown was walking toward the door with his back turned when he was shot and killed.

The next night, a D’Iberville Police officer found Mays and Lewis and placed them under arrest. At the time of their arrest, Lewis had a .22 caliber pistol in a holster on her hip, and Mays had a 9mm pistol on the floorboard of the passenger seat where he sat.

Mays and Lewis admitted to police culpability for shooting both men. They said they left their apartment in Emerald Pines, took their children to a relative’s home, and returned to Emerald Pines armed with pistols to fight. They also claimed that both victims had guns and that one of the victims fired first.

However, Assistant District Attorney Ian Baker, who prosecuted the case, said forensic evidence would prove that all shell casings recovered from the crime scene were fired from Mays’ pistol.

“During her plea, Lewis admitted that she never saw either victim with a gun,” Baker said. “Lewis also admitted that she tried to shoot her gun, but it did not fire.”

Mays was initially charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault, with a bond set at $1 million. Lewis was charged with aggravated assault and accessory after the fact with a $500,000 bond.

During sentencing, Judge Christopher Schmidt sentenced Lewis to a total of 40 years, with 15 years suspended, leaving 25 years to serve in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, followed by 5 years of post-release supervision. Mays was sentenced to a total of 40 years, with 10 years suspended, leaving 30 years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.

“Today’s culture does not value human life,” Judge Schmidt said during sentencing. “They operate on emotional triggers.”

DA Parker addressed and thanked those who helped throughout the case.

“We commend the Gulfport Police Department and the members of the community who came forward and provided information which resulted in these convictions,” DA Parker said. “Their work and assistance helped bring closure in the criminal case, and justice to this family who lost a loved one.”

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