Carol Ann and Lon Lewis, the prosecutor now says, were "a typical family in Bowie," parents of a 4-month-old girl, residents of a comfortable ranch style house and drivers of a brown Honda Civic and white Ford Torino.
But on Sept. 23 in a few moments of terror, all that changed.
Now Carol Lewis and 4-month-old Heath are dead, Lon Lewis is in the Prince George's County Detention Center awaiting trial for soliciting their murders and his friend, Gene T. Meyer, is on trial for carrying out the killings.
Investigators have said at other court hearings that the mother-daughter stabbings were the first part of a "you-kill-my-wife-and-I'll-kill yours" pact between the two husbands. But yesterday, as Meyer's trial began, the prosecution was silent on this point. Instead, Prince George's County Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Sauerwein focused only on the deaths of Carol and Heather Lewis.
In his opening statement to the jury in Prince Georges County Circuit Court, Sauerwein said Meyer confessed to police that he went to Carol Lewis's home at 4807 Reemore la. last Sept. 23 "to eliminate her. It was Lon's idea."
Sauerwein also told the jury in Judge Jacob Levin's courtroom that Meyer had told police of going into the house, talking to Carol Lewis, going into the kitchen and hearing a dog bark.
"The next think he remembered was a knife in his hand, . . . blood on the floor and he threw the knife behind him," Sauerwein quoted Meyer as saying in an Oct. 8 statement.
Carol Lewis and her baby were found on the blood-soaked kitchen floor. Meyer was taken into custody Oct. 8, after Lewis allegedly made a statement the previous day implicating him.
Meyer's defense attorneys attempted to prevent his statements from being used at the trial, maintaining that they were improperly obtained by police.
Yesterday, Meyer's lawyer Joseph DePaul told the jury that his client made his second statement - one typed by police and signed by Meyer - only after he'd been worked over, denied his right to see a lawyer, denied his right to see his family."
In hearings before the trial, DePaul attempted to have that statement and an earlier handwritten on suppressed, but his motions were denied by Levins.
Yesterday, Depaul told the jurors "you must make the determination legally whether the statesments are voluntary."
"The evidence will show . . . that it was the old police technique - weve got a suspect, let's put a case together against him."
"Meyer of Rockville is a computer technician who had worked out of the Data Point Corp.'s Washington office, while Lewis had worked for the company in Baltimore.
Investigators have said in previous court hearings that Lewis was allegedly prompted to make a murder pact with Meyer because of Lewis relationship with a woman he met a business trip to San Antonio. Meyer, according to the prosecution, had been allowing Lewis to use his Rockville address to receive letters from the woman, who did not know Lewis was married.