Murder-for-hire plot targeted man's wife but killed her sister instead, police say

Kevin Lewis, 31, allegedly paid two teenagers to kill his then-wife.

April 9, 2019, 10:08 PM

A Washington state man was arrested in connection with a botched murder-for-hire plot that targeted his then-wife, but killed her 24-year-old sister instead, police said.

Kevin Lewis, 31, was arrested on murder and conspiracy charges on Monday in the September 2017 death of his former sister-in-law, Alisha Canales-McGuire, who was fatally shot at her sister's home in northern Washington state while babysitting, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

Lewis allegedly paid two teenagers several thousand dollars to kill his ex-wife, Amanda Canales, who was out of town at the time, according to police.

PHOTO: Police arrested a Washington state man in connection with a botched murder-for-hire plot on Monday, April 8, 2019.
Police arrested a Washington state man in connection with a botched murder-for-hire plot on Monday, April 8, 2019.

Lewis, who was already in prison serving time for assaulting the victim's sister, was arrested on charges of aggravated murder with a firearm, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder, police said.

Police also charged a 17-year-old Spokane girl and 20-year-old Tacoma man with suspicion of first-degree aggravated murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.

Investigators said the male suspect, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, posted images on social media "showing off several hundred dollar bills just a few hours after the murder." The female suspect allegedly bragged to several friends about being "hired to kill someone in Snohomish County," according to the office.

"In the analysis of the evidence, detectives believe the two suspects had been approached by Lewis who asked them to kill his ex-wife for several thousand dollars," the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "The two drove from Spokane, where they were both living at the time of the murder, to Snohomish County.

"Cell phone records put the phones of both suspects at locations consistent with traveling together and with the timing of the murder," it added.

The male suspect was being held at the Snohomish County jail on $5 million bail as of late Tuesday. The female suspect, who was 16 at the time of the murder, was being held at a juvenile detention center. It's unclear if they have retained attorneys.

Amanda Canales, the alleged intended target, said it's hard to believe that her ex-husband could do such a thing.

"It's a relief to have the world know what my family and I have known the whole time," Canales told ABC's Seattle affiliate KOMO on Tuesday. "I was with [Kevin Lewis] almost 10 years and I just hid how horrible the marriage was from everyone.

"They didn't know the real Kevin. Even I didn't know how far he'd go until it happened," she added.