LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge postponed trial Tuesday for a 19-year-old and a co-defendant accused of killing a Las Vegas mother of four in a neighborhood shootout after a driving lesson with her daughter in February.
Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani decided that too many pretrial matters remained unresolved to begin trial next Tuesday for Erich Milton Nowsch Jr. and co-defendant Derrick Andrews. A new date wasn't immediately set.
Nowsch and Andrews, 27, have pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder, firing a weapon from a vehicle and conspiracy charges that could get each life in prison without parole in the slaying of Tammy Meyers. Meyers' adult son, Brandon Meyers, returned fire but wasn't wounded.
Nowsch and Andrews won't face the death penalty. Each is currently jailed without bail.
Nowsch is accused of shooting from a car with Andrews driving, fatally wounding Tammy Meyers, 44, outside her home late Feb. 12.
Police and family members say Tammy Meyers and her 15-year-old daughter were stopped and threatened on the way home from a school parking lot driving lesson by an angry motorist minutes before the fatal shooting.
In the interim, Tammy Meyers dropped her daughter off at home while her 22-year-old son, Brandon Meyers, fetched his registered handgun accompanied her back out into the neighborhood, where police say they found Nowsch and Andrews.
Authorities say Nowsch fired several shots at Meyers' car a few blocks from her home before a chase to a cul-de-sac where Tammy Meyers got out of the car and was shot in the head. Brandon Meyers wasn't wounded and fired three shots in return, but didn't hit anything, police said. Tammy Meyers died two days later, on Valentine's Day.
Prosecutor David Stanton has said the shooting appears to have resulted from a tragic chain of coincidences, including Tammy Meyers' mistaken belief that the car with Nowsch and Andrews in it was the same one driven by the man who threatened her and her daughter earlier. That man has never been found.
Nowsch told friends and police that he feared the people in the car driven by Tammy Meyers were following him and meant to do him harm.
Defense attorneys Martin Hart, for Andrews, and Conrad Claus and Augustus Claus, for Nowsch, say they haven't gotten the complete police file in the case.
They said they want to get their case before a jury quickly, but also need time to challenge prosecution plans to use experts to testify and to ask Villani to suppress Nowsch's statements to detectives.
The judge scheduled a hearing Thursday on some of those arguments.
"We want trial as soon as possible," Conrad Claus said outside court, "because I have a scared, small, confused young man who's in jail and wants to get home to his family."