Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 20, 2011

Schwander: Carly's death an accident

TRAVERSE CITY — Robert Schwander described Carly Lewis’ death as an accident in a jailhouse phone call to his girlfriend, police said today during his trial.

Schwander is charged with an open count of murder in the June 2 death of Carly, 16. His trial continues today in 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City.

Deputy John Rice, a Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department corrections officer, booked Schwander, 18, into jail after his arrest more than a week after Carly disappeared.

Rice allowed Schwander to make several phone calls, and testified this morning he heard Schwander tell his girlfriend Carly’s death was not all his fault, and that it was an accident. Schwander also wanted police to take a photograph of an injury on his thumb that he said came from Carly, Rice said.

Traverse City Police Detective Sgt. Joe McCarthy testified today that Schwander admitted to an altercation with Carly and said he buried her body in a sand pile near a Beitner Street storage shed that served as his temporary home.

A forensic pathologist who performed Carly’s autopsy is expected to testify this afternoon.

Watch for further updates, and see tomorrow's Record-Eagle for complete details.

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