The coroner on Tuesday announced that Jennifer Lynn Lewis’ cause of death was a single gunshot wound and ruled her death a homicide.
“At this time Franklin Police Department detectives continue to investigate and gather evidence,” FPD said Tuesday after the coroner’s ruling. “The Franklin Police Department will continue to update media as the investigation allows.”
FRANKLIN, Ind. — Police in Franklin arrested 49-year-old Johnathan Baker for a probation violation and handgun possession after they found his girlfriend dead inside her home.
Police and family identified the woman as 47-year-old Jennifer Lewis.
Investigators say they were initially called to the home on Woodfield Boulevard at 1:46 a.m. Saturday for an attempted suicide. They described Lewis’ death as “suspicious.”
Police said Baker was in possession of handguns which violated his probation. Court records show he was on probation after pleading guilty to domestic violence in September.
According to court documents, police were called to the same home on Jan. 3 after a man called dispatchers and told them his step-dad “beat the s**t” out of his mother.
When police arrived at the home, nobody answered the door. Then officers heard yelling inside the home and tried to kick the door down. That’s when a “frantic” woman dressed only in her underwear opened the door and yelled “help me.”
The woman, identified as Lewis, told police her boyfriend, Johnathan Baker, was upstairs with a gun, according to court documents.
Police, with their guns drawn, ordered Baker to come downstairs. The officers said that Baker walked down the stairs and pulled down his pants to show them that he didn’t have any guns. He was arrested and booked into jail.
Lewis later told police that Baker attacked her after she made a comment he didn’t like.
According to court filings, Lewis told police that Baker threw her off the bed and got on top of her. Lewis said he then hit her approximately 75 times and choked her. She told police she almost lost consciousness.
Police said they found blood spots at the scene and Lewis had visible swelling on the side of her face.
Saturday’s police presence at the home came as no surprise to neighbors.
“We’ve seen this across the street before so it’s nothing new,” said neighbor Michelle Mullis. “We’ve seen a lot of cops across the street.”
Mullis and several other neighbors said they have repeatedly seen fighting and heard yelling at Lewis’ home.
“We’ve also heard stories of people walking back-and-forth, like walking a dog, and they noticed the man had the woman to the ground,” Mullis said “So just a lot of domestic violence over there, sadly.“
After the January 3 incident, Baker was charged with strangulation and domestic battery.
Court records show he took a deal to plead guilty to the misdemeanor domestic battery charge. The felony strangulation charge was dismissed.
Baker was sentenced to one year of probation and domestic violence counseling. Neighbors say it hasn’t stopped.
“Just a few months ago there were cops…there was an altercation out front in the yard,” Mullis recounted. “You always hear them fighting and yelling at each other.”
He has not been charged in Lewis’ death. Neighbors told us the whole situation is devastating.
“It’s very sad because she’s been dealing with this, from what I’ve heard, for years,” Mullis said. “And now it’s too late.”
The Johnson County Coroner said an autopsy on Lewis is scheduled for Monday.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help and resources at 1-800-799-7233.