Akron man Johnnl Lewis rejects plea deal, will go to trial for aggravated murder of John Lehman

AKRON, Ohio - A man accused of murdering a McDonald's worker in Akron rejected the prosecution's plea deal Friday.

The offer from the prosecution was 26 years to life if Johnnl Lewis, of Akron, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and a gun specification.

He initially rejected the offer to continue discussions with his attorneys behind closed doors. About an hour later, Lewis officially turned down the plea deal.

The victim's family traveled from the Cincinnati and Columbus areas to attend the hearing and expected Lewis to plead guilty to aggravated murder.

Lewis will now go on trial for aggravated murder on Oct. 23.

John Lehman, 28, was taking out the trash on April 6 at an Akron McDonald's on West Market Street when he was confronted by Lewis.

The Summit County Medical Examiner said Lehman was shot three times, including a fatal shot to the torso, and ruled the death a homicide.

Lewis was arrested on April 16 on South High Street.

According to an Akron police report, he made a videotaped confession.

Friends of the victim described Lehman as "an absolute sweetheart" who loved music.

NewsChannel5 has a crew in the courtroom and will provide more updates on the sentencing hearing throughout the day.

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