Crime & Courts

After 2-year-old Kansas girl died, mother’s boyfriend sentenced to 21 years in prison

Iviona Lewis, 2
Iviona Lewis, 2 Kansas Bureau of Investigation

The man who pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Chaz Stephens, 26, of Hoisington, was sentenced to 253 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections on Monday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release. Stephens had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in the March 2018 death of Iviona Lewis. He was the boyfriend of the girl’s mother.

Stephens was originally charged with first-degree murder, but prosecutors lessened charge and dropped others as part of the plea deal.

Iviona was first reported missing March 20, 2018, and at that time she had already been missing for more than 48 hours. The toddler had last been seen wearing only a blue pull-up diaper, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. A day later, the KBI said she had been found dead in rural Barton County and Stephens had been arrested and booked into jail.

An obituary for Iviona Marae May Lewis’ death states that she died March 18, 2018. She was the daughter of Devonte Lewis and Annissia Houp.

“Iviona was a loving, smart, kind and gentle girl, who had the innate ability to lift anyone’s spirits,” states the Bryant Funeral Home obituary. “A mother hen, Iviona took cheerful pride in caring for her brothers.”

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