KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who killed his girlfriend, put her body in a suitcase and dumped it into a creek has been sentenced to prison.
Donnovan Lewis, 27, was sentenced to between 25 and 40 years for the death of Western Michigan University student Aniya Mack, 24.
“Words will not do justice,” Judge Paul Bridenstine told Lewis before issuing his sentence. “Justice demands that you be incarcerated for an extended period of time. And I suspect that there are a number of people in this courtroom and outside that don’t even believe that what I’m going to impose is justice.”
Before his sentence was handed down Monday morning, Lewis said he was “beyond sorry” for what he had done “and the hurt that it caused.”
“First thing of every day that I do is pray for her family,” Lewis said.
The murder happened in June 2018. Police reports show Lewis told investigators that he and Mack argued and he hit her, knocking her unconscious. He then cut her throat. Detectives say Lewis then put Mack’s body in a suitcase, which he eventually dumped in Comstock Creek. He led authorities to her body four days later.
“Horrific facts. Aniya Mack didn’t deserve any of these things,” Bridenstine said during sentencing. “She didn’t deserve to be hit to begin with. She didn’t deserve to be put unconscious. She didn’t deserve to be stabbed and murdered and her body didn’t deserve to be treated (like) less than garbage. And all of that happened because of you, nobody else.”
The judge said he was impressed by the “grace and strength” of Mack’s family in the face of an “unimaginable horror.”
“You took something dear from us,” Mack’s aunt Linnae Rankin told Lewis when giving her victim impact statement. “We can’t get it back. You’ve got to live with that. I hope you can.”
She said neither she nor Mack’s mother have forgiven him.
“And in time I’m sure I will, but not now. I’m not ready,” she told News 8.
They said the coming months will be especially difficult them since the Christmas season was so important to Mack.
Lewis pleaded guilty in September to second-degree murder. The murder sentence won’t start until he completes a 17-month to four-year sentence for escaping the Kalamazoo County Jail. He received credit for 228 days served in the murder case.