LAUREL COUNTY — The state representative in the 90th District was arraigned in Laurel County District Court Tuesday.
Derek Lewis pleaded not guilty to the charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence – first offense.
Lewis, who is being represented by attorney Conrad Cessna, waived a formal arraignment and Judge Wendell Lewis “Skip” Hammons Jr. set Lewis’ next court date for June 30 at 11 a.m.
Lewis is also the Republican candidate for the 90th District state representative race. There are no other Republican candidates running, so Lewis will not appear on the ballot during the June primaries. Lewis will be on the ballot in November for the general election.
On April 16, Laurel County Sheriff’s K-9 Deputy Gary Mehler and Sgt. John Inman arrested Lewis off Hatcher Road.
According to the arrest citation filed by Mehler, he came upon a green-colored Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck against a split rail fence down in a ditch off Hatcher Road. Mehler stopped to render aid.
Upon exiting his patrol vehicle, Mehler reported that Lewis exited the truck from the passenger side. Mehler noted the vehicle was still running. Lewis appeared unsteady on his feet, according to the arrest citation, and he almost fell backward into the truck even though the pavement was fairly level.
Mehler said he noticed Lewis was slurring his speech and having difficulty with his balance.
“Once I began to speak with him face to face, and in close proximity, I noticed his eyes were very glassy and bloodshot,” said Mehler in the arrest citation. “I also smelled a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath.”
Lewis refused to take a field sobriety test and told Mehler to call Laurel County Sheriff John Root, according to the citation.
Lewis told the officer, according to the citation, “I ain’t gonna do a G— damn thing you want.”
Lewis asked to have his blood sugar level tested and an EMT tested it saying it was slightly elevated “and not the reason for his behavior,” according to the citation.
Lewis was taken to Saint Joseph London where he asked to have two different attorneys contacted. Deputies were unable to contact either and Lewis refused to take a blood test to determine his blood-alcohol level, according to the citation.
The 90th District includes part of Laurel, Clay and Leslie counties.