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Inmate: Stover confessed to Knowles killing

Inmate: Stover confessed to Knowles killing

Witness claims jailhouse discussion led to admission
Inmate: Stover confessed to Knowles killing
Raekwon Stover, 19, in Schenectady County Court on June 7, 2017.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

Raekwon Stover admitted to a friend and fellow jail inmate that he killed Medina Knowles, the fellow inmate testified Monday.

The inmate, 34-year-old Joseph Lewis, said Stover admitted to the shooting when he and Stover encountered each other at the Schenectady County Jail three months after the crime. 

Stover, 19, is accused in the Sept. 15 shooting death of the 17-year-old Knowles inside her Schenectady Street apartment. Prosecutors say Stover was angry because Knowles stopped making him money. He pimped her out through an online website, but she began to miss appointments, prosecutors allege.

Lewis mentioned several of those details in his testimony Monday.

PREVIOUS: Text messages outline weeks leading up to teen's killing

Lewis said he knew both Stover and Knowles separately prior to his 2015 arrest on drug charges. Lewis also kept in contact with both after his drug arrest.

When he heard Knowles had been killed, he was stunned, Lewis testified.

When he encountered Stover at the Schenectady County Jail three months later, Lewis said, Stover basically told Lewis what led to the shooting. Stover said he had a client waiting for her and Knowles kept saying she was busy. He didn't believe her and went to her apartment and they argued. Stover told Lewis the gun went off.

"He told me straight up and down, 'I shot her. I killed her.' I was like, 'what?' " Lewis testified under questioning by prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham. "After that, I was just stunned by it."

Lewis is serving four years for the 2015 Schenectady drug case. For his testimony, he expected to get a year off of his sentence, he testified.

Stover's attorney, Adam Parisi, emphasized the deal in cross-examination, as well as a second deal Lewis received for testimony in an unrelated case.

Parisi highlighted Lewis' lengthy criminal record, including multiple times where he lied to police about his name. Parisi also noted that Lewis heard about Knowles' death through another inmate, suggesting Lewis received other information about the case.

Though he is getting a benefit for his testimony, Lewis said that was not why he did it.

"I'm here because Medina Knowles is my friend. I wouldn't be here if [Stover] didn't tell me himself that he killed her," Lewis testified under questioning again by Tremante-Pelham. "It's not about the year, it's the right thing to do."

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case Wednesday. If convicted on all counts, Stover would face in excess of 25 years to life in state prison. Judge Louise Sira is presiding.

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