Shooting victim wanted family violence charges against husband dropped in 2015


A mother allegedly shot to death by her husband last week petitioned the court in 2015 to drop charges against the man after he reportedly beat and threatened her and her children.

Erica Powell, 46, also asked the court to revoke the portion of 51-year-old Walter Lowe’s bond that required him to stay away from her, according to an affidavit Powell signed on Sept. 22, 2015 that attempted to drop the charges against Lowe.

“Walter Jerome Lowe has lived with me and my children for the last five years and there has never been an incident which concerned me before now,” Powell wrote in the affidavit.

But Powell’s six children were concerned. Powell’s daughter, Keaundra Jackson, told media outlets on Monday that her mother was used and manipulated by Lowe for years.

“To the Gwinnett County’s district attorney office, I called you all for help and no one listened when I was saying he was going to kill my mother if no one helped her,” Jackson said. “My family is hoping you all will be willing to give justice in death since you didn’t give her justice when she was alive.”

The Gwinnett County court system refused to drop the charges against Lowe twice, despite Powell’s insistence that she wasn’t afraid of him.

“We refused because we believed Mr. Lowe presented a threat of future violence,” Gwinnett’s Chief Assistant District Attorney Dan Mayfield said in a statement on Monday.

But the court did revoke the part of Lowe’s bond that said he couldn’t see Powell.

“By consent, the court issued an order to allow contact between Lowe and Powell in accordance with Ms. Powell’s request,” Mayfield said.

Nearly two years after the courts allowed Lowe to contact his wife again, he allegedly shot her in their Medlock Park Drive home near Snellville.
Gwinnett County police were called to the home just after midnight on Thursday when Powell’s 10-year-old son went into his mother’s room to check on her. He found her suffering from a gunshot wound.

According to police, the son had been in and out of the house for most of the day. When he arrived home at around 9 p.m., he saw his stepfather, Lowe, leave the house, but didn’t think anything of it.

“Between 9 p.m. and midnight, the child was inside the home unaware that his mother was deceased inside another bedroom,” Gwinnett police Cpl. Michele Pihera said.

Once officers got to the home, they tried unsuccessfully to revive Powell.

Lowe is charged with aggravated assault, murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He’s being held in jail without bond. The indictment against him for his alleged crimes in 2015 is still pending.

“The Gwinnett District Attorney’s Office is sorry for the loss of the Erica Powell family and extends its sincere condolences,” Mayfield said. “This office will continue to seek justice in this case.”

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