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Lawyers for Suspect in Las Vegas Mom Slay Challenge 'Road-Rage' Label

The young man accused of killing a Las Vegas mother appeared in court for the first time Monday, with the victim's husband watching.

The 19-year-old man accused of gunning down a Las Vegas mother of four after a street altercation and car chase appeared in court for the first time Monday — saying nothing as his lawyers argued that the fatal shooting was not a case of road rage.

The dead woman's husband, Bob Meyers, seemed near tears as he vowed to return for each of Erich Milton Nowsch Jr.'s hearings. At one point, a bailiff had to move him away from a door where Nowsch was expected to enter.

Nowsch looked haggard as he was led into the courtroom in shackles.

His lawyers, brothers Conrad and Augustus Claus, said the case had been incorrectly labeled as road rage, but they didn't offer a different account of the Feb. 12 attack, which began with a traffic altercation and ended with an exchange of gunfire in which 44-year-old Tammy Meyers was killed outside her home.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he still considered it a road rage case.

Nowsch is expected to return to court March 10 to enter a plea. He remains jailed without bail following his arrest Friday on charges of murder, attempted murder and firing a weapon from a car.

Bob Meyers has said his wife had taken Nowsch, who lived a block away from the family, under her wing after the young man's father committed suicide five years ago.

Police and family members said Tammy Meyers had been giving her 15-year-old daughter a driving lesson at a school parking lot when they had an encounter with the angry driver of a silver car. Meyers went home and got her 22-year-old son, Brandon Meyers, who brought along his handgun as they searched for the silver car.

Nowsch is accused of firing on Meyers' green Buick Park Avenue, then shooting at her again after a short chase that ended in front of her home. During the second shooting, Brandon Meyers fired three shots back a silver Audi with Nowsch and at least one other person inside.

Las Vegas police say Nowsch told friends later that he shot at the green car because someone inside waved a gun at him and he thought the people in it were after him.


— John Getter with NBC News and the Associated Press