Rev. Herman Lewis trial starts; taped police interview played in court

SPOKANE, Wash. - Monday prosecutors played what could be a taped confession from Reverend Herman Lewis in court for the first time as a pre-trial motion was made to determine whether or not the tape will be played at trial.  The Spokane pastor is accused of attempting to kidnap a restaurant employee and ramming a police car back in April of 2007.

The judge in this case has told potential jurors not to watch media coverage of the case meaning anyone that is a potential juror should not read this web article or watch the video attached to this story page.

Defense attorneys are trying to prevent this video from being shown to a jury.

"Preaching on Sunday, running women and doing drugs on Monday." that's how the Reverend Herman Lewis described on the video the double life he says he was leading, preaching at the Morning Star Baptist Church on weekends and reportedly paying for sex and doing drugs during the week.

The comments are part of a 15-minute interview with detectives the afternoon after his arrest in North Spokane last year.

When asked what his sole purpose of going to the Shari's restaurant that day Lewis told detectives he was going to see a woman: "I tried to get her to get from around the corner and go with me to have sex.  She didn't want to, so I started dragging her out the door".   Lewis is referring of the female cook that he is accused of trying to abduct from the restaurant.

That's when Shari's customer Einar Pedersen stepped in trying to protect the woman.  Lewis details what happened next, "he pushed me back, so I hit him and I didn't realize I hit him so hard.  When he fell down his face hit the concrete and there was blood everywhere".

The tape appears to be a confession for the man on trial for assault and attempted rape.  The reverend's family has argued he was mentally ill and he wasn't responsible for his actions at the time of his arrest last year.  But Lewis has since passed a mental evaluation and was deemed competent to stand trial, a superior court judge will ultimately decide whether or not that tape will be played at that trial.  That judge didn't rule today on whether or not the jury will hear the tape.  Judge Eitzen plans to hear from more witnesses before ruling on the motion.

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