Craig Lewis
Craig Lewis

A former York County prison inmate has been convicted of shooting an off-duty prison guard outside a Manchester Township bar more than a year ago.

A jury on Wednesday morning found Craig A. Lewis guilty of aggravated assault, but not guilty of attempted homicide.

Lewis, 22, of Chestnut Street in York City, remains in York County Prison awaiting his sentencing hearing, set for April 29, defense attorney Bill Graff said.

He maintains he didn't recognize David Whitcomb Jr. as a York County corrections officer when they both were at Piazza Romana, 2350 N. George St., on Jan. 21, 2012, according to Graff.

"They were all drinking that night," Graff said.

Lewis got into a fight with Whitcomb, but he maintains he didn't have a gun and didn't shoot Whitcomb.

"I think he has appeal issues," Graff said, and confirmed he will appeal the conviction. "Our argument is, they got the wrong guy."

Credible? Graff said he doesn't think the prosecution witnesses were credible, but that jurors must have believed the witnesses to convict Lewis.

Deputy prosecutor Dave Mueller said his witnesses were credible and that he has no doubt Lewis shot Whitcomb.

"This is a case involving a truly innocent victim who was doing all the right things," Mueller said. "Mr. Whitcomb is a hard worker, a public servant and a war veteran ... who was shot for no reason. We're glad the jury saw the case for what it was."

Mueller said he doubts Lewis' assertion that he didn't recognize the corrections officer.

"We believed all along he knew Mr. Whitcomb from the prison," he said, but didn't have the evidence to prove it.

The background: Court documents indicate that at some point prior to the shooting, Lewis had been housed in a prison block where Whitcomb worked.

Whitcomb has said he was outside the bar, speaking with someone who had pushed his brother, when he saw Lewis approach him from behind.

"I was hit upside the head," he previously testified.

The prison guard said he turned around and grabbed Lewis, trying to take him to the ground.

Whitcomb's brother, Derek Whitcomb, has said he saw Lewis pull out a small handgun and point it. Then he heard two gunshots, he said.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.