Walker County investigators have arrested a former prison guard in connection to the brutal double murder of his 18-month-old son and the baby's grandmother.
Howard Wayne Lewis, 46, was arrested in Huntsville on Wednesday after making a Grand Jury appearance. He's charged with capital murder. He's being held on $1 million bond.
The murders of 54-year-old Shanta Faye Crawford and her grandson, Aiyden Lewis, rocked Huntsville when their bodies were found in the family's home in a rural area off Highway 30, west of Interstate 45, on the night of July 24.
Crawford's husband, Robert, found the bodies back on July 24. His daughter, the baby’s mother, was not at home when Crawford and the little boy were killed.
For the first time on Wednesday, investigators revealed how they were killed. Crawford was beaten to death. Her grandson had been strangled, his small body left hanging from a door knob.
Family members say the arrest is a relief.
“I'm sad and happy at the same time.” Crawford's niece, Donea Kimbrough, tells Local 2 News. ”Sad at what happened to my family, and happy that they finally got somebody.”
Lewis was the leading suspect in the case for months. Walker County deputies and Texas Rangers waited until DNA results were returned before arresting him. Sheriff Clint McRae Lewis' DNA was found on an object at the crime scene.
In the days following the murders, investigators interviewed Aiyden’s mother and Lewis. The couple was not married and had separated.
Back in July, sources said there had recently been a dispute over custody and child support.
Shanta Faye Crawford quit her job two years ago to care for the little boy. He was the couple's only grandson. Her family says she was devoted to him.
Lewis is yet to be charged in Crawford's murder. He is charged with Capital Murder in the death of his son, which could make him eligible for the death penalty. Donea Kimbrough says she thinks that is the appropriate punishment.
“This needs to happen soon. Real soon. Like yesterday soon.” Kimbrough said.