As prosecutors announced the indictment of the 19-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting Tammy Meyers, defense lawyers told a judge Friday that they’re looking for surveillance video from the school where the mother of four was reported to have been before she was killed.
The lawyers said Friday that they want Metro to turn over recordings from police radio from Feb. 12, the night Meyers was shot in the head, along with recordings made seven days later when Erich Nowsch was arrested.
Family members initially said Meyers was teaching her 15-year-old daughter to parallel park at Johnson Junior High School the night she was shot. If the security cameras trained on the parking lot show no driving lesson, Nowsch’s lawyer Conrad Claus said outside of court, “it tends to make what they’re saying a little less credible.”
If the tape matches the family’s story, he said, “that’s not necessarily inconsistent with my client feeling in danger or the Meyers being involved in activity that would make him feel in danger.”
Police recordings from the night of the slaying could provide clues about another nearby shooting close to the time Meyers was wounded, the lawyer said.
“We want to see what the first story was,” Claus said.
Defense lawyers have said the Meyers family account about the night of the shooting makes no sense.
“The Meyers story has been a bit of a moving target,” Claus said, adding that he also wanted to see surveillance video from outside Nowsch’s house that night, but that it had already “taped over itself.”
Four people — Brandon Meyers, Crystal Meyers, Khatelyn Krisztain and homicide detective Clifford Mogg — testified Thursday before the grand jury, according to the indictment.
Prosecutor David Stanton said their testimony “gives a clear picture of what happened,” but declined further comment.
Tammy Meyers died two days after the shooting. Nowsch, who police said was a gang member, was arrested in connection with what the Meyers family initially described as a road rage incident involving a stranger.
The family said Meyers and her daughter were out late for a driving lesson, and Meyers had crashed and sped away after another driver threatened her, then followed her to her home on Mount Shasta Circle and gunned her down before she could enter the house.
But Metro said there was no crash and that Tammy Meyers and her 22-year-old son, Brandon, went out looking for the vehicle she had encountered, with Brandon carrying a pistol. Later, the family acknowledged that Meyers knew Nowsch well, and had counseled him and given him money when he needed it.
As authorities investigate the slaying, they continue to search for another man thought to be the driver of the car Nowsch was riding in. His lawyers have said he does not have a driver’s license, does not routinely drive and does not own a car.
Defense attorneys, meanwhile, continue to challenge details of the investigation.
Although a blood test is still pending, Claus said “my confidence has grown to the nearly bursting point that my client was strongly under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of questioning. I think it’s improper that they questioned my client when they knew he was high.”
Nowsch, who is being held in the Clark County Detention Center, faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and discharging a gun into a vehicle.
In 1995, when Nowsch was about 7 weeks old, he suffered a skull fracture. His father, who has since died, was charged with felony child abuse. Nowsch’s father later pleaded guilty to the charge, attorney Augustus Claus said on Friday.
Because prosecutors have not ruled out the death penalty in Meyers’ slaying, Claus said the injury “simply as a matter of prudence … may become relevant down the road.”
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Friday that prosecutors have 30 days to decide whether to pursue capital punishment.
“This case will be reviewed like any other murder case,” Wolfson said. “And if there are circumstances which could qualify the case for consideration for the death penalty, we will look at them.”
Contact reporter David Ferrara at email@example.com or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker