CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (TCD) -- A 38-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend appeared in court last week for a preliminary hearing that revealed new information about the victim’s death.
On July 30, 2021, Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido approved charges against Matthew Lewinski that included first-degree premeditated homicide, disinterment and mutilation of dead body, and concealing the death of an individual. Lewinski was booked into the Macomb County Jail the same day the charges were authorized and has been in custody since.
In the initial statement, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office alleged Lewinski killed his girlfriend in December 2020 and "moved the victim’s body to the basement, where it remained for the past several months." Lewinski also allegedly removed "large portions of flesh from the victim’s back."
According to WJBK-TV, Lewinski reportedly admitted he strangled Jerri Winters and moved her body to the basement and left it there for months.
Lewinski appeared in court Thursday, May 19, for his preliminary hearing. WJBK reports Lewinski’s sister, Debra Federico, testified her father owned the condo Lewinski lived in. She said the condo was foreclosed on, and on July 28, 2021, she went with her husband, son, and a friend to get some personal items from inside. Lewinski was reportedly in the hospital at the time. Federico reportedly stayed outside as the others went in, and they told her she needed to call police because they found a body.
According to WJBK, Detective Michael Chirco arrived and said he saw Winters face-down with her arms spread apart and in a "state of decomposition." He reportedly located bottles of bleach, gloves, knife, and blood splatter around the basement.
The Detroit News reports Chirco said at the hearing, "A large portion of the flesh of the back from the base of the neck across the shoulders and around the torso all the way down to just above the buttocks area had been removed. And you could see the internal organs."
Winters' body was reportedly covered in bugs, too.
Chirco and another detective spoke with Lewinski after finding Winters' body. He reportedly told Chirco and the other detective he and Winters got into an argument December 2020 when she slapped him for something she found on his phone. He then allegedly slapped her in return and choked her for approximately five minutes.