Defense in Las Vegas mom killing wants gunshot residue test

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Attorneys for a 19-year-old accused of killing a neighborhood mother in a spray of gunfire asked a judge on Thursday to let them check the dead woman's body for gunshot residue.

The request came as suspect Erich Milton Nowsch Jr. stood shackled in court with his tattooed hands clasped before him.

His lawyers Augustus Claus and Conrad Claus told Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen they also want police, dispatch and coroner records ahead of a scheduled March 10 preliminary hearing.

Erich Nowsch Jr. appears in a Las Vegas courtroom for his initial court appearance Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. Nowsch remains jailed following his a...

Erich Nowsch Jr. appears in a Las Vegas courtroom for his initial court appearance Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. Nowsch remains jailed following his arrest Friday on murder, attempted murder and other charges in the Feb. 12 shooting that fatally wounded 44-year-old Tammy Meyers outside her home. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

The judge said he'll hear arguments Friday on the request for a court order to do an independent test on Tammy Meyers' body to determine if she or someone next to her fired a gun before she died.

"All possibilities are being investigated," Augustus Claus said outside court.

Prosecutor David Stanton objected, hinting at pitched arguments still to come in the case marked by conflicting accounts by police and Meyers' family.

"The test is simple," Stanton told the judge, referring to the chemical gunpowder test. "The legal authority to compel this court to order that is more complex."

The slaying of Tammy Meyers two weeks ago was first characterized as a road rage attack involving a 44-year-old mother of four who was fatally wounded by an assailant who followed her and her 15-year-old daughter home from a late-night driving lesson.

It morphed into a case with more questions than answers following the revelation that Meyers fetched her 22-year-old son, Brandon Meyers, and his gun and drove around the neighborhood looking for a motorist who frightened her when she was with her daughter.

It took on a new dimension when Meyers' husband, Robert Meyers, said she knew Nowsch at least in passing, and that Nowsch had been to the Meyers family home several times in the past. Records show that Nowsch attended high school with two Meyers sons.

Robert Meyers also acknowledged going with two sons to Nowsch's home on Feb. 15 to speak with his mother, Kathleen Nowsch. Erich Nowsch wasn't home. Meyers said they wanted to know if social media accounts of Nowsch being involved in the shooting were true.

Police arrested Erich Nowsch at his mother's house Feb. 19, and he remains jailed without bail on murder, attempted murder and weapon charges. District Attorney Steven Wolfson said he'll consider the death penalty in the case.

A second suspect, who hasn't been identified, remains at large. Police say the person is believed to have been the driver of a silver Audi from which a .45-caliber handgun was fired in two confrontations with Tammy and Brandon Meyers late Feb. 12,

One occurred several blocks from the Meyers home, and the second on a cul-de-sac where Tammy Meyers was shot in the head near her house.

Tammy Meyers died on Valentine's Day after being taken off life-support at a hospital.

Police say she was behind and to the side of Brandon Meyers when he fired three shots with a 9mm handgun at the fleeing car with Nowsch and the driver inside.

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