JEFFERSONVILLE, IN – A Jeffersonville man who fatally shot his wife in front of their young daughter after she asked for a divorce will spend the rest of his life in prison, deprived of his freedom and separated from his family forever.
48-year-old Mac Lewis was sentenced on Thursday to 100 years in an Indiana state correctional facility for the brutal murder of his wife, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet Lewis.
The cold-blooded attack, which occurred in October 2021 inside the Jeffersonville home Lewis shared with Lizzie and her 11-year-old daughter Tinsley Mullen, left Tinsley traumatized after witnessing her mother’s murder firsthand.
A jury convicted Lewis earlier this month on one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, and three counts of criminal recklessness committed with a firearm. The jurors also found there were aggravating circumstances related to Lewis’ use of a handgun in the fatal shooting, which allowed the judge to enhance his sentence by up to 20 additional years.
Clark County Circuit Court Judge Nicholas A. Karaffa ordered the maximum punishment allowable, sentencing Lewis to 55 years for Lizzie’s murder, 30 years for attempting to kill Tinsley, 3 years for recklessness, and a 12-year firearm enhancement – all to run consecutively. In total, Lewis will spend a century incarcerated before he is eligible for release.
Now 13, Tinsley bravely addressed her mother’s killer at his sentencing hearing, asking the judge to impose the harshest punishment permitted under the law. She spoke about the ongoing trauma of witnessing her mother’s murder at such a young age.
“I have to ask the judge, should an 11-year-old have to see their mom murdered in their home and have a gun pointed at them?” Tinsley said. “I’ll never be the same. He should be punished for what he did to my mom. Please send him far away. Far away as you can. Never let him out of prison.”
Tinsley’s older sister, 15-year-old McKenna Bennet, also spoke directly to Lewis in court. “I hope the rest of your life is as miserable as you have made ours,” she told him.
The girls’ grandfather, former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, said the century-long sentence brought the first sense of justice for his slain daughter.
“After 18 months of absolute hell, today is the first day of justice for our beautiful daughter, their mom, our two grandchildren and [their friend] who endured this tragedy,” Bennett said. “No child, no child, should ever have their mom stripped away from them in the manner Lizzie was stripped away [from her kids.]”
The Fatal Shooting and 911 Call
The fatal shooting took place on October 20, 2021, inside the Jeffersonville home where Lewis lived with Lizzie, Tinsley, and occasionally Tinsley’s younger friend who was present that night.
According to prosecutors, Lewis shot Lizzie four times with a handgun after she asked him for a divorce. He then turned the gun on 11-year-old Tinsley, firing several shots in her direction – the basis for his attempted murder conviction. Lewis also recklessly fired the weapon numerous other times in the home. One bullet traveled across the street, getting stuck in a neighbor’s house.
Young Tinsley desperately called 911 after witnessing her mother’s murder. “My stepdad just killed my mom,” she told the dispatcher. The chilling call was played for the jury during Lewis’ trial.
Lewis’ Defense and Statement in Court
Lewis’ defense attorney claimed at trial that Lewis was suicidal over his failing marriage and had the gun to kill himself, not Lizzie. The lawyer argued that Lizzie was fatally shot in a struggle over the weapon.
Prosecutors slammed that theory, calling it an “insult” to the victim and her loved ones.
Lewis declined to testify in his own defense but addressed the court at sentencing, apologizing for the pain he caused while maintaining Lizzie’s murder was an accident.
“Everybody thinks I’m a monster. But I’m not. It was an accident. I really didn’t mean for my actions,” Lewis said. “I loved Lizzie to death.”
Lewis’ words provided little comfort to Lizzie’s family, who said his actions were monstrous regardless of intent. The murder left her two daughters without their mother and forever traumatized.
Judge Karaffa agreed Lewis’ crime warranted the maximum punishment. By handing down a century-long sentence, the judge ensured the man responsible for breaking up a family and leaving two girls motherless will pay with the remainder of his life behind bars.