Arrest Made in Slaying of Long Island Mother, Toddler: Cops

Suspect was caught in Maryland and will be extradited to New York

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The ex-boyfriend of the woman is accused of killing her and her two-year-old son. (Published Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011)

    A Long Island man has been arrested in Maryland in the deaths of a woman and her 2-year-old son whose bodies were found in a basement apartment in North Bay Shore.

    Suffolk County police say 24-year-old Jerry A. Lewis, of North Bay Shore, was arrested Sunday in Laurel, Md., in the deaths of 21-year-old Shakeela Planter and her son Jaiden Planter. They were found Friday.

    Lewis refused to waive his right to extradition, authorities said. He will remain in Maryland pending a Jan. 27 court date.

    Lewis walked into a station house in Maryland and confessed to the murder while still wearing blood-stained clothes, according to Maryland police. Lewis was the former boyfriend of Shakeela Planter and had been living with her at least part-time, according to Suffolk authorities. 

    Police say he stabbed Planter numerous times and badly beat her son. The child's body was found in a plastic bag stuffed in a freezer.

    According to homicide squad commander Detective Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky of the Suffolk County police, the sight of the baby left morgue workers "in tears -- and they deal with death every day."

    Lewis allegedly took the victim's sports utility vehicle and drove to his sister's house in Englewood, N.J., before dumping the SUV in Riverhead, Suffolk police said. Police in Maryland say he then took a bus from New York to his mom's house in Laurel, near where he turned himself in.

    Shakeela Planter worked as a nurses' assistant at Huntington Hospital.