Police were aware that a 19-year-old suspect accused of fatally shooting a mom of four in Las Vegas had smoked marijuana prior to surrendering and being questioned, the man’s defense lawyers said Tuesday.
Erich Milton Nowsch was smoking pot while talking to police by telephone during a brief standoff Thursday at his home, where he arrested, Nowsch’s lawyer, Augustus Claus, told The Associated Press.
Claus said that casts doubt on any information Nowsch may have given authorities after being taken into custody. Police and prosecutors were not commenting on the allegations, according to the AP.
Nowsch is accused of fatally shooting 44-year-old Tammy Meyers after a traffic altercation that ended in an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and Meyer’s 22-year-old-son, Brandon Meyers.
Nowsch’s lawyers, brothers Augustus and Conrad Claus, have also said the incident has been incorrectly labeled as road-rage, but have not yet offered an alternative timeline of the events that unfolded on the night of the Feb. 12 shooting.
Police and family members say Tammy Meyers was giving her 15-year-old daughter a driving lesson in a parking lot when she and Nowsch got into an altercation. Meyers went home and got her son, Brandon, who brought along a handgun as they searched for Nowsch’s car, according to a police report released Friday.
Nowsch is accused of shooting at Meyers’ green Buick, then fatally gunning her down after a brief chase in front of her home. During the second round of shooting, Brandon Meyers fired three shots back at a silver Audi while Nowsch and at least one other person was 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.
— Daniella Silva with The Associated Press