Lewis Kyle Wilson pleads guilty to lesser charges

Lewis Kyle Wilson, an Asheville man charged with kidnapping and brutally assaulting a prostitute, has pleaded guilty to lesser assault and drug charges. He'll be released May 27 after spending almost 14 months in jail.

Wilson pleaded guilty Jan. 11 to assault inflicting serious bodily injury, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to sell and distribute psilocybin mushrooms. The charges were combined, and Wilson was sentenced to 15 to 18 months. According to jail records, he'd been held in the Buncombe County Jail for a total of 411 days at the time he plead guilty.

The District Attorney's Office dismissed charges of first-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The original assault charge against Wilson was not reduced due to lack of evidence or an agreement to plead guilty to other charges, but for an unspecified "other" reason, court records show.

According to the original charges, Wilson allegedly picked up a prostitute, knocked her unconscious, took her to his home, forced her to perform oral sex and stabbed her in the head. She escaped and, a few days later, Wilson was arrested.

After his arrest, police deemed Wilson a "person of interest" in two other prostitute attacks near his River District home, as well as in the still-unsolved 2006 murder of prostitute Kelly Lane Smith. In a jailhouse interview with Xpress last February, Wilson maintained that he was innocent of all charges, asserting that the prostitute had attacked him. At the time, he said he would fight the charges during his trial.

Last March, DNA testing revealed that hair and teeth found in a search of Wilson's home did not belong to Smith. Wilson has not been charged with any crimes connected to Smith's murder or the assaults of the other two prostitutes.

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