His rape trial starts Wednesday. Now he’s charged with murder of woman found in Ky. park.

Anthony Lewis
Anthony Lewis Hazard Police Department

A man who spent more than two decades in prison and was set to stand trial for a rape charge Wednesday is now accused of murdering a woman found in an Eastern Kentucky park Sunday.

Anthony Lewis, who was taken into custody without incident Monday, was charged in connection to the murder of 37-year-old Marlena Holland, who was found in Bobby Davis Park Sunday night, Hazard police said.

He has been charged with murder, according to police.

Holland was beaten to death, according to police. Police told LEX 18 Holland and Lewis knew one another.

Lewis, 45, has an extensive criminal history, including a 1995 kidnapping-victim death conviction, according to court records. He has been out on parole since May 2017.

Seven months after he was released from prison, Lewis was charged with rape in Leslie County. He has been out of jail on bond and was awaiting a trial that was scheduled to begin Wednesday.

A sexual assault evidence kit contains forensic evidence gathered from a victim's body during an intrusive, hours-long examination. Testing kits can find DNA evidence used to identify rapists, boost prosecutions or exonerate the falsely accused.

Lewis also has previous robbery, burglary and assault convictions, court records show.

Hazard police said Lewis had been staying at the Hope House in Hazard. He was considered armed and dangerous when police found him Monday. Police said they received many tips about Lewis’ whereabouts.

He was transported to the Hazard Police Department for an interview before being taken to Kentucky River Regional Jail.