GEARY COUNTY, Kan. -- The man accused of killing a Junction City woman in front of her toddler has asked for an expert to help work on his case.
Nathaniel Lewis Jr. appeared in Geary County District Court Tuesday morning for a pretrial hearing.
Lewis has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 24-year-old Jennifer Pigg at her Junction City apartment last summer.
On August 14th, 2011 at 1:30 AM, Junction City Police officers were dispatched to the Green Park Apartments on North Calhoun Street, in reference to a woman suffering from a gunshot wound.
They found Pigg dead from a single gunshot wound to her upper torso.
Witnesses identified Lewis, an Illinois man, as the shooter. Police would not discuss how Lewis and Pigg knew each other but said they were not in a relationship.
Lewis turned himself to Junction City police the same day as the deadly shooting.
Junction City Police Chief Tim Brown said Lewis had been living in Junction City for a year at the time of the shooting but had no address, calling him "homeless."
After Lewis’ arrest, Chief Brown would not reveal what police believe happened inside Pigg's apartment. The motive and circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting are still unknown. Lewis waived his preliminary hearing and evidence in the case has not yet been presented in court.
Brown told WIBW that there were five adults in the room in Pigg's apartment when she was murdered: her, Lewis and three witnesses as well as Pigg's two-year-old child.
Jennifer Pigg's child is now being cared for by her parents.
Lewis maintains that the shooting was an accident and that he did not know the gun was loaded.
On Tuesday, his attorney received authorization to obtain a firearms expert to review the case.
Geary County Attorney Steve Opat says he is working with members of the KBI and Junction City Police Department. He considers them “eminently qualified firearms experts,” he told the court.
Lewis is scheduled to appear in court again Aug. 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM for a status hearing.
A trial date has not yet been set.