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Father speaks out after girlfriend, unborn son hit and killed by IMPD officer in May 2020

Federal lawsuit filed this week
Ashlynn Lisby and her boyfriend Marcus Lewis
Attorney Steve Wagner obtained this photo of Officer Henderson's vehicle after the May 6, 2020 crash
Posted at 1:24 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 22:22:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis father is speaking out for the first time after his pregnant girlfriend and unborn son were hit and killed by an Indianapolis Metro Police Officer.

"He should have been arrested because if it had been anybody else, they definitely would have gotten arrested,” said Marcus Lewis.

Marcus Lewis filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit on May 12, alleging Officer Jonathan Henderson was speeding at the time of the crash and has not been disciplined by the department.

“I want justice for my son,” said Lewis. “You should own up to your mistakes.”

The crash happened just after 9 pm on March 6, 2020.

“It’s hard for me, because it’s really the only thing I think about,” said Lewis.

Lewis says he and his pregnant girlfriend of three years, Ashlynn Lisby, were walking northbound along the shoulder on South Harding Street near I-465 on the south side.

Lisby was 8 months pregnant with their son, whom they had named Marcus Eugene Lewis III.

"We were coming from getting food for the night and trying to get us another place to stay, and we were walking on the shoulder of the road and she was 10-15 feet behind me,” said Lewis. “I heard like a big thump or thud. I heard her slide across the pavement. I turned around and it shocked me even more that it was a police officer."

IMPD officer and 22-year veteran Jonathan Henderson hit Ashlynn with his vehicle while on his way to work.

Attorney Steve Wagner obtained this photo of Officer Henderson's vehicle after the May 6, 2020 crash
Attorney Steve Wagner obtained this photo of Officer Henderson's vehicle after the May 6, 2020 crash

“I was trying to help her, I really was,” said Lewis. “I looked at her and she looked at me and she passed away and closed her eyes and when she looked at me she looked like she was going to tell me she loved me.”

Both Ashlynn and baby Marcus were pronounced dead at the hospital.

Lewis had to bury his baby and grieve over a tiny casket.

“It’s hard, it is,” said Lewis. “I pray a lot.”

Lewis’ attorney Steve Wagner of Carmel law firm Wagner Reese obtained a photo of what the officer’s car looked like after the impact.

"This crash was so severe that it actually triggered the crash data retrieval system on the vehicle, or what we call the black box,” said Wagner. “We can see the data, the last 5 seconds before the accident. This shows Officer Henderson was going 78 miles an hour 5 seconds before the accident."

A wrongful death lawsuit filed this week in federal court against Jonathan Henderson and the City of Indianapolis alleges Henderson was driving 55 mph, 10 miles over the speed limit, at the moment he hit Ashlynn and baby Marcus.

The federal lawsuit also alleges Henderson was driving partially on the shoulder and straddling the white fog line when the crash happened.

The lawsuit accuses IMPD of attempting to cover up the cause of the accident with a crash report that said Ashlynn was walking “on the roadway.”

IMPD’s report also said Ashlynn was wearing dark clothing, the street lights were out, and Henderson said he was looking in the mirror when the crash happened.

“The initial report was a hit job,” said Wagner. “It was a hit job.”

The lawsuit calls Henderson’s actions “reckless.”

"If that happened to anyone, not only would they lose their job, but they would face criminal consequences,” said Wagner. “Officer Henderson hasn't been charged with a crime and a year later he hasn't even been disciplined."

Marcus Lewis is trying to get his life back together, and now lives in an apartment on the south side.

“I still have nightmares about that night,” said Lewis.

Ashlynn2.jpg

He wants IMPD to be transparent about what happened the night of May 6, 2020.

“You should own up to your mistakes,” said Lewis.

IMPD released a statement to WRTV, saying the criminal investigation was completed in February.

"Internal Affairs is conducting an administrative investigation for compliance with IMPD’s policies and procedures," read the IMPD statement. "The Chief of Police will receive a report at the end of the IA investigation, and will make a decision on discipline at that time."

The lawsuit filed May 12 covers Marcus Lewis and his unborn son.

It claims because of Henderson’s conduct, Lewis was denied his due process rights under the 14th amendment of the Constitution.

The lawsuit also makes a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress for Lewis because he witnessed the death of his unborn son.

Ashlynn’s family has filed their own lawsuit, which is still pending and scheduled for trial in 2022.

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