LAS VEGAS – A 21-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole on Thursday, after pleading guilty to the death of a Las Vegas mother of four who was targeted in a neighborhood cul-de-sac of last year.
Erich Milton Nowsch Jr. left the courtroom sobbing after he was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of Tammy Meyers, 44, in February 2015. The case was initially proposed as road rage, while Myers was teaching her 15-year-old daughter to drive in a school parking lot, but authorities later attributed to a series of misunderstandings and parties mistakenly identify each other.
“My intentions were to take someone bad, not a loving, caring mother,” Nowsch said in a nearly three-hour taped interview last year, obtained by The Associated Press. “It was my intention to have someone that is going to hurt my family, not someone’s mother, not Tammy.”
Nowsch will be eligible for parole after 10 years, but also serve at least four years for a weapons enhancement.
“I will forgive you? Never. Ever,” Meyers’ widower, Robert Meyers, told the defendant at the hearing. “I hope that you for me and mine that you burn in hell and you get what you have coming to you today, because you, lord, are an animal.”
Nowsch tried earlier this month to withdraw his guilty plea, but was denied. He asked Thursday his sentencing to be postponed because he did not have enough time to prepare, but district court judge Michael Villani denied to say that the killing stemmed from “one of the worst chain of events this community has seen.”
Getaway driver Derrick Andrews, 28, was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and accessory to murder.
The Feb. 12 shooting seems to have emerged from a series of tragic events. Researchers believe Meyers was shot outside her house after the first confrontation with another driver.
That night, she taught her teenage daughter how to drive in a parking lot when the driver, who has never been found or identified, apparently threatened to kill the mother and the daughter. Meyers’ family said that she was angry and frightened when she dropped her daughter off and picked up her son, who was armed with a gun.
They drove around in the neighborhood to confront that driver. Meanwhile, Nowsch said that he was walking in a park when he noticed a car behind him. He was on edge, because he was dodging the death threats linked to drugs and street disputes and wanted to protect himself and his mother, sister and cat, Nowsch told investigators in the taped interview.
He said that he called a friend to pick him up.
Nowsch said he tried to scare off the car behind them by flashing his gun, but he was angry when he saw the car near his house.
Nowsch said that he could not see exactly what happened next, but that he fired a number of bullets in a car in one location and end in the cul-de-sac, where he emptied a whole clip.
His account differs from that of the authorities, who say Nowsch fired several shots at the Meyers’ car behind her to her house, where the mother stepped out of the car and was fatally shot in the head. Meyers’ son shot back at one point, but he was not injured, authorities say.
The police recording also a call Nowsch made to his mother.
“The only reason I confessed, Mother, because they knew everything,” he said. “They knew that it was an accident.”