A New Jersey woman was charged with murder Friday (Oct. 6) after beating her boyfriend with two frying pans, which lead to his death.
The incident between Maleia Cole and Jason Lewis happened Sept. 2. inside a grocery store in Camden. During her preliminary trial hearing earlier today, video and footage evidence showed Cole following Lewis into the grocery story and hitting in the face, shoulder and back with two frying pans from her house.
An employee from the store claimed that Cole also had a butter knife in her possession, The Courier Post reports. Cole admitted that an argument at her home across the street sparked her actions.
Police were called that night with Lewis being treated for head trauma at a local hospital. He was released five days later, but returned a few weeks later complaining of dizziness and head pain. After unsuccessful emergency brain surgery, the 35-year-old died of his injures on Sept. 26.
While prosecutors claim all of the evidence presented is grounds for the murder charge, Cole’s attorney says she was the victim of abuse from Lewis. A family member of Lewis spoke to VIBE, refuting the claims. “I think her defense is ‘battered woman’ but it’s not true, he has two women that he had children with who could verify that he never hit them,” she said. “She was down on her luck and he took her in and they were not together that long. He took in the poor and the broken; many people spoke about this at his funeral.”
She also stated that Lewis battled kidney failure and was on dialysis.
“He was very soft spoken and had a quiet calm demeanor and always had a smile on his face,” she recalled. “My aunt was his stepmother, he called her mom from day one, he always helped her even when he was sick. The last time I saw him I knew it would be the final time because I thought the kidney failure was gonna take him out but he fought that. I never imagined this.”
Cole’s prior convictions included an aggravated assault charge and missed court dates for breaking registration orders. Her lawyer acknowledged Cole’s mental health troubles and mentioned her client was taking her medications.
The family member believes this may have played a part in her rampage, paired with the grief of her brother’s death.
“I think the combination of the addiction and her being in her thoughts and feelings about her brother’s death set her off,” she said.
Cole will remain at Camden County Jail until her next court date.