Speaking to Xpress at the Buncombe County Detention Facility on Feb. 27, Lewis Kyle Wilson asserted his innocence against charges of brutally assaulting and kidnapping a prostitute last November. Wilson has also been named a “person of interest” in an unsolved 2006 murder and two other prostitute assaults in Asheville’s Riverside area.
“I’m innocent of the charges,” Wilson said about the allegation that on Nov. 19 of last year he picked up and attacked a prostitute. “She attacked me,” he said, without saying how the woman got into his vehicle. “I did not intend to harm her, I was just trying to get away from her and I got a number of cuts doing that. There was a knife in the middle of the seat and she grabbed it. I got cut and struggled with her for the knife. She got hurt in that worse than I did.”
After they fought in his vehicle, he said, he dropped her off on the side of the road “and she walked about a half mile. She said [in her emergency-room report to police] that she’d fled [from Wilson’s residence]. But that’s not true. I dropped her off and then she went and called the police.”
Why didn’t Wilson go to the hospital himself or call the police to press assault charges?
“I’d never been to jail before,” he said. “I didn’t want to tell the police I’d gotten in a fight with a prostitute. I was afraid they’d charge me.”
Instead of calling authorities, Wilson claims, he “cleaned up, passed out. The next thing I know, the cops are banging on my door.”
He said he would reveal more information about his version of events that night at his trial. As of today, the court has not set a date for that trial.
“I don’t want to reveal everything right now,” Wilson said.
Since his Nov. 26 arrest on charges of first-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill, Wilson has been held in the detention facility under a $115,000 bond.
Those who knew Wilson have described the case as causing “complete mayhem” in the community.
Wilson also said that bags of hair found in his house came from when his girlfriend had shaved his head (“I was going to donate it to Locks of Love,” he asserts), and that a box of teeth, also found in the police search, were his own wisdom teeth.
He also declared that he had nothing to do with the murder of Kelly Lane Smith, a local prostitute whose dismembered remains were found in July 2006 in the Riverside area, not far from Wilson’s residence.
“I think I was in Danville, Va., at the time,” he recalled.
Wilson said that he was inviting the Asheville Police Department and law enforcement to get evidence, and believed that once the forensics are analyzed, they will prove his innocence.
“They were coming out to my property with cadaver dogs. I said, ‘Great! Do it! I want to prove my innocence.’ They asked for head-and pubic-hair samples in the hospital: I was pulling out my hair,” he said, motioning to his head, “I was offering it. I’ll give them all the DNA they want. The nurses were saying they’d never seen anyone so willing to give DNA.”
He also declared that he had no knowledge of the two other brutal prostitute assaults — one on May 11 and one on Aug. 6. Both women identified Wilson’s vehicle and properties he maintained, and the one involved in the May incident — who also claimed she was raped — later identified his photo in a lineup.
“I’ve never heard of or seen either of them,” he told Xpress.
While named a “person of interest” in the murder and other assaults, Wilson has not yet been charged with those crimes. APD Capt. Tim Splain has said that it may take months to analyze the forensic evidence, and that the two prostitutes in the other assault cases have declined to pursue criminal charges.
Wilson attacked the media coverage of the case, including articles in the Asheville Citizen-Times and Xpress.
“After I beat these charges, how am I going to go back to work?” he said. “With these stories out there, how am I going to repair my life?
“I do take responsibility for putting myself in that situation,” he added, leaning forward, head against the glass in the visitation room. “If I’d been home reading a book that night, this never would have happened.”
— David Forbes, staff writer