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Man charged with voluntary manslaughter for the 2022 shooting of Franklin woman

Posted at 3:07 PM, May 14, 2023

FRANKLIN — A man has been charged with voluntary manslaughter, a level two felony, for shooting and killing a Franklin woman in November 2022.

Court documents released this week show Jonathan Z. Baker is charged with killing Jennifer Lewis on November 12.

According to the documents, Franklin Police Department was called to a residence at 2708 Woodfield Blvd. for an attempted suicide.

When they arrived they found Lewis dead and Baker also in the home.

Court documents show that a detective told police that the scene may not be a suicide based on the multiple shell casings and placement of the gun on Lewis's chest.

Police were also advised that officers had previously responded to the home for domestic violence-related incidents.

WRTV also learned that Baker was on probation for domestic battery prior to the shooting.

A court affidavit regarding the incident stated Lewis "began hitting Lewis in the head while she was in bed.” It said the man then "threw her off the bed and choked her." The affidavit states that Lewis told an officer she was hit at least "75 times."

Baker pleaded guilty to that charge and received one year of probation and counseling for domestic battery, along with maintaining an address free of firearms.

Following the shooting, detectives conducted interviews with Baker and two witnesses.

Court documents show the witnesses told police they received concerning calls the night of the shooting.

One witness told police they received a call from Lewis in which she said Baker was beating her,

The witness told police they then received a call from Baker in which he stated "call the cops, I shot Jae" and "she is bleeding from the head".

Another witness said they overheard these phone calls from Lewis and Baker. He also told police that Baker called back a second time and said "don't call the cops" and "she shot herself".

Court documents show that during interviews with Baker, he gave several different accounts of what happened and he was told by police that his accounts did not match the physical evidence at the scene.

Police then obtained a search warrant of the home where they recovered three shell casings and two bullets from the wall.

Court documents show that after investigation, police concluded that the crime scene had been manipulated, including the placement of the gun.

Two days after the shooting, an autopsy revealed that the cause of death for Lewis was a gunshot wound and the manner of death was homicide.

Court documents show in a voicemail that was made to Lewis's phone by Baker's phone number, the two can be heard arguing. Lewis can be heard screaming "no, no, no" while Baker says "now you're going to get me thrown in prison."

Towards the end of the recording, Baker asked "who did you call?" and Lewis's last statement is "I'm going to call the police."

Baker is currently being held for voluntary manslaughter at Johnson Superior Court 2. His initial hearing is set for June 7.