I-Team investigates man indicted more than 40 times: Why wasn’t he in prison?

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CLEVELAND-- A man has been indicted for attempted murder, leaving the victim and the FOX 8 I-TEAM to wonder if the court system failed.

The I-TEAM found Waldell Lewis was just indicted for the 45th time over more than 30 years. So why wasn’t he locked up when police busted him for a recent attack on an ex-lover?

The woman said she was grabbed and beaten heading to work at 55th and St. Clair in Cleveland, and she said Lewis even ran over her with a car. The victim told FOX 8, “Nobody deserves this. And I thank God every morning when I wake up,” she went on to say.

The I-TEAM found Lewis had been before a judge in April, but he got probation on three cases. However, he had violated probation already in two of those cases, yet he still walked out.

Even David Kraus is a bit stunned. Kraus,  a defense attorney, had represented Lewis. Kraus admitted, “I was surprised when he walked out of the courtroom.” Though the defense attorney added, “Judges don’t have a crystal ball down here. They can’t incarcerate every individual for  every crime, or we would be building jails and not hotels and apartments here.”

We found Lewis has a long list of aliases, and he has been to prison many times before. But most of the prison terms involved shorter sentences.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors point out, Lewis has a record of mostly non-violent crimes.

Judge Maureen Clancy handled the most recent cases. Through a court spokesman, she said she couldn’t comment since Lewis could now come back before her.