FRANKLIN, Ind. — A frantic voicemail recovered from Jennifer Lewis’s phone may have captured the final moments of her life. Fifteen minutes after the voicemail ended, police arrived at her home and found Jennifer lying dead in her bedroom. Her boyfriend, Johnathan Baker, claimed she committed suicide.
But police were suspicious from the get-go and now Baker, 50, sits behind bars, charged with voluntary manslaughter and accused of killing Jennifer and trying to cover it up.
According to court documents, the Franklin Police Department were called out to a home in the 2700 block of Woodfield Blvd on Nov. 12, 2022, at approximately 1:45 a.m. Police reported discovering Jennifer in the bedroom where she was lying on the bed with a gunshot wound to the head and a Kimber handgun placed on her chest.
Documents reveal that Baker originally told both arriving officers and 911 dispatch that Jennifer shot and killed herself in an apparent suicide. But investigators documented their suspicions, pointing out the placement of the handgun and multiple shell casings found in the room as suspicious for a suicide scene.
Baker’s recollection of Jennifer’s final moments was inconsistent, according to police, going from a suicide to her unintentionally shooting herself to him stating that “maybe” his hand was touching the gun when it went off while they were “tussling.”
But, in the end, it may have been Baker’s own phone that betrayed him. Court documents reveal that police found a voicemail on Jennifer’s phone from Baker’s number. The voicemail was from 1:30 a.m., not long before police were called about the supposed suicide.
In the voicemail, police said Baker and Jennifer could be heard loudly arguing. Jennifer screams “no, no, no” while Baker is heard telling her, “Now you’re going to get me thrown in prison,” court documents detail.
Toward the end of the recording, Baker pressed on Jennifer to tell him who she called. Jennifer’s last statement in the voicemail is her saying, “I’m going to call the police.”
Documents detail that around 1 a.m., Jennifer called someone. That person told police they were playing cards and put the call on speaker. Jennifer was reportedly hysterical and crying, claiming Baker was beating her.
“He’s coming,” she reportedly warned them before Baker could be heard and the phone went silent.
The witness reported that less than 10 minutes later they got a phone call from Baker. They could hear him crying and saying, “no, no… no.” This phone call was at approximately 1:37 a.m.
The witness told police they immediately called Baker back.
“Call the cops, I shot her,” they claimed Baker said.
Three minutes later, he called again.
“Don’t call the cops,” Baker reportedly said, changing his tune. “She shot herself.”
The witness told police they called 911 on their way to the Woodfield Blvd home. They were on scene when police arrived.
While Baker originally claimed Jennifer’s death as a suicide, police documented the inconsistencies in his story and their suspicions of the crime scene.
Baker had originally told 911 dispatchers that the handgun was still in his girlfriend’s hand after the shooting. He later told police he threw the handgun onto the bed, according to the court documents.
When police showed Baker a photograph of the crime scene — with Jennifer lying on the bed and the handgun placed on her chest — Baker reportedly conceded that the scene didn’t look like the scene of a suicide, according to the court documents.
An autopsy later determined that Jennifer was likely shot from an intermediate range due to a lack of soot near the gunshot wound in her mouth. Police also found two bullet holes in a bedroom wall and three shell casings in the bedroom.
Investigators who processed the crime scene also determined that the crime scene had been manipulated including the placement of the handgun, according to the court documents.
If convicted of voluntary manslaughter, a Level 2 felony, Baker could face between 10 and 30 years in prison.