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Elmira/Corning

Friends mourn "Billy" Lewis after murder arrest

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Friends mourn "Billy" Lewis after murder arrest
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A well-known Elmira bar owner is remembered after he was shot and killed over the weekend. Police say Louis Duffy, 20, confessed to killing Clinton "Billy" Lewis, 53, early Sunday morning. Our Lara Greenberg spoke with Lewis' friends about his death.

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Clinton "Billy" Lewis was a bar owner, a handyman and a friend.

"Billy was a friend to everybody he met, to everybody he met."

Lewis was shot and killed in his North Main Street apartment in Elmira early Sunday morning. Police say Louis Duffy, 20, killed him with a .40 caliber handgun.

"Investigators sat down with Mr. Duffy, worked through his story and were able to get him to ultimately confess to shooting Mr. Lewis in the head," said Captain Joseph Kain from the Elmira Police Department.

Captain Kain says Duffy and Lewis were acquaintances. They had mutual friends and Lewis did some handy work for Duffy on the side. But Lewis' business partner, Tom Schreur, who owned Chill with him on West Fifth Street, says he never heard of Duffy.

"Never heard of him, never seen him before in my life."

A memorial has been set up right outside Billy's club, a place that friends say meant a lot to him.

"Whenever the bar was open, he was there."

"The bar was very important to him. So it will be kept up."

That means it will remain open during normal business hours. But for now, it will not serve alcohol since the liquor license is in Lewis' name. Meanwhile, Lewis' friends are trying to make sense of what happened.

"It's been an unbelievable shockwave throughout our community. Such a senseless act took place. What can you say? You know?" said Terry Miller, a friend of Lewis.

Lewis' friends and family are in the process of making funeral arrangements. Duffy is set to appear in Elmira City Court Tuesday morning.

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