Man Caught Driving Murdered Ex-Girlfriend’s Car

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(Memphis) The ex-boyfriend of a Memphis special-ed teacher found murdered Friday is now in police custody.

Authorities haven't yet charged Carl Smith with murder, but have him on theft.

They say Smith was found in West Memphis, driving Bronsha Lewis' stolen car.

We spoke with Lewis’ mother Monday and she wanted people to know that she loved her daughter, that she was a good person and didn't deserve to die.

“She would come over here every day to see her mother,” said the mother’s neighbor, Belinda Pratther.

Pratther says it’s tough to think she'll never see Lewis visiting her mother again.

Lewis was murdered last week, police say beaten to death with a bat and claw hammer.

On Sunday, police say they found Lewis' ex-boyfriend, Carl Smith, driving her stolen car.

“That’s wrong for him to do what he did,” said Pratther.

Smith has a history of abusing Lewis.

Court records show in April of last year, police arrested Smith for beating her up.

That day in 2012, Lewis told officers she was afraid for her life and in self-defense grabbed a kitchen knife to keep him away and to help her escape from the home.

Two days later, police say Smith came back with a gun, threatening to hurt Lewis if she went forward with the domestic assault charges.

Lewis filed a restraining order and family members tell us Smith only recently got out of jail for the crime.

“And you can see people have all these restraining orders what good can that do? Ain't none of them working yet,” said James Marion, the victim’s mother’s North Memphis neighbor.

“It’s just amazing to have a loved one , someone you supposedly care about, and do some things like that,” said Lewis’ neighbor Tonya Johnson.

"What kind of girl was she?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall.

“Sweet. Very sweet,” said Pratther.

Pratther says it’s going to be difficult for the North Memphis community to heal after the loss of Lewis, a teacher at Brewster Elementary School and a beloved daughter.

Lewis' funeral is expected to be this Saturday at 12 p.m. at Lake Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Leath, and her mother says everybody is welcome.

The family also plans to hold a candle light vigil for Lewis Monday night at 7:30 p.m.  It will be at her apartment complex, the University Cabana Apartments on Oakmont.