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A methamphetamine addict who strangled his likewise addicted girlfriend, supposedly because he was unhappy with her in bed, should be convicted of murder, a prosecutor said today, while a defense attorney argued for manslaughter.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Cooper told jurors hearing the case against Jack Henry Lewis Jr. that the defendant beat Jan Hasegawa, 48, with his fists and a flashlight so that bruises covered “every inch of her body.”

Hasegawa died as she was choked by Lewis on Sept. 8, 2005, Cooper said.

Lewis, 39, is charged with murder, torture and a sentence-enhancing allegation of murder during torture. If the jury finds him guilty, he faces the death penalty or life in prison.

Twelve hours after killing Hasegawa, the defendant, who was high on methamphetamine, went to his real estate agent’s home and repeatedly told her friend that he hurt Hasegawa because she didn’t please him sexually, Cooper told the jury.

Earlier, Lewis broke Hasegawa’s arm when she tried to end the relationship, the prosecutor said.

In 2003, Hasegawa told a doctor how Lewis had choked and beat her, Cooper told the jury.

On the night of the killing, police arrived at the Mission Village apartment Lewis and Hasegawa shared and found her nude body in a bedroom.

Her body had been wiped clean, and fecal matter was found on towels and clumps of the victim’s hair were strewn around the apartment, Cooper told the jury.

A gram of methamphetamine had been injected into Hasegawa within 12 hours of her death, the prosecutor said.

After fleeing, Lewis also went to a friend’s home in Bonsall, where he again described the beating he gave Hasegawa, the prosecutor said.

“He (Lewis) said, `I really hurt her. I went too far this time,”‘ according to Cooper.

Friends urged Lewis to surrender because he was going to go to jail.

“He (Lewis) said, `I’m not going to jail. I’m going to prison for what I did,”‘ the prosecutor told the jury.

Defense attorney Douglas Miller told the jury in his opening statement that Lewis and Hasegawa were methamphetamine addicts, and the defendant had no motive to kill his girlfriend.

Miller said the evidence would show Lewis
is guilty of manslaughter, not murder.
The attorney said Lewis and Hasegawa had known each other for many years and became romantically involved in 1993.

Lewis — 12 years her junior — fell in love with Hasegawa when he went to live with her and her husband, Miller told the jury.

For the first 10 years of their relationship, there was no violence between Lewis and Hasegawa, his attorney said.

After that, both started injecting methamphetamine and becoming violent, Miller said.

Miller said Lewis and Hasegawa engaged in sex acts that including choking while climaxing.

“Jack was scary on meth,” Miller said.

Hasegawa would leave Miller for short periods but eventually return to feed her addiction, he said.

“She was addicted to this scary roller coaster that they were on together,” Miller told the jury.

Crime scene investigators found evidence of sexual activity in the apartment, including a pornographic tape on anal sex, the defense attorney said.

“Where the sex conduct ended and the violence began is unclear,” Miller said. “Things went too far. There was a terrible fight. A battle at this point. Everything was blurred.”

An investigator with the Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to testify that he can’t rule out that Hasegawa might have died of a heart attack caused by a methamphetamine overdose, Miller said.

An expert also will testify that Lewis was in a meth-induced delirium when Hasegawa was killed, the attorney said.

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