Family and friends mourn death of special needs teacher - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Family and friends mourn death of special needs teacher

Bronsha Lewis Bronsha Lewis
Carl Smith Carl Smith

(WMC-TV) – Sadness filled the air as family and friends mourned the tragic loss of 32 year-old special needs teacher Bronsha Lewis with a candle-light vigil.

"We know she's gone to a place now God where she don't have to worry no more," Pastor Cameron Harris of True Love Church said.

Signs against domestic violence hold the key to why family members believe, Lewis who was found beaten to death Friday; lost her life.

"It happened because somebody said they loved someone else but we all know that's not love." Harris said.

Lewis' car was missing when her body was discovered by police during a welfare check inside her Cabana University Apartment Friday.

Memphis police picked up Carl Smith up Saturday for theft of property for stealing Lewis' 2003 gold Chevy Impala.

Memphis police said Smith was the driver when officers found Lewis' car in West Memphis, Arkansas.

He was later arrested at Delta Medical on Getwell. 

 "There are ways out, we've gotta stop, we've gotta end the cycle this is the most under reported crime ever," Miracle Hall of the Domestic Violence Support Group said.

Family members said the couple's history is full of domestic assault incidents.

"She kept things on a personal level as far as family wise, but I do know it was a restraining order in place and she kept her distance from the family so everything that actually went on between them two I really don't know," Lewis' cousin, Monique Huggins said.

Action News 5 found at least two domestic violence charges against Smith in the Shelby County Sheriff's Office Inmate Information system where Lewis was the victim. 

In one incident, police witnessed the injuries Smith allegedly gave to Lewis after an argument.  Lewis said she feared for her life.

Two days later, Lewis said Smith threatened her if she went forward with those domestic assault charges.

Huggins doesn't know who hurt her cousin. To them she sends this message.

"Why did u have to do this to her she was a sweet young lady she didn't have to die like that if anything just let her go, walk away," Huggins said.

Smith is charged with theft of property of the victim's car and is being held on a $10,000 bond.  He faces no other charges in connection with this case.  Smith is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

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