A Dallas jury convicted a man on Friday in connection with a 2013 two-city rampage that left four people dead and two young boys seriously injured.
Dallas News reports that Erbie Lee Bowser’s defense attorneys tried to argue that since he had low sodium in his system, combined with previous head injuries and PTSD, he was legally insane during the time of the murders. The jury didn’t buy it. After nearly five hours of deliberations, they returned a verdict of guilty. They now have to decide if the former football player and veteran should get death or life in prison.
On August 7, 2013, Toya Smith, 43, told Bowser he had to move out of her Dallas house. The mother of two children was tired of dealing with Bowser’s abusive nature and wanted their relationship to end. A loud argument ensued between the two before Bowser pulled out a gun and shot both Smith and her 17-year-old daughter, Tasmia Allen, killing them both. Bowser then turned his attention to Smith’s son, 14-year-old Storm Malone. He shot and killed the boy, then drove to his estranged wife’s house in DeSoto.
Today marks a year since DHS Alumni Tasmia Allen's passing. High Hats remembered her by decorating her memorial tree. pic.twitter.com/GjWAZ0Th6W
— Duncanville StuCo (@Dvillestuco) August 7, 2014
Once Bowser arrived in DeSoto, he broke into the home of Zina Bowser, 47, and shot her in the head. He then went upstairs and shot and killed Zina’s daughter, 28-year-old Neima William. He set off a grenade in the house and shot Zina’s young sons, seriously injured them. Her youngest son, a 3-year-old, hid in a closet and escaped harm.
Neima Williams was on the phone with 911 when Bowser killed her. She pleaded for her life Bowers shot her anyway. The recorded call was played to the jurors.
— Jobin Panicker (@jobinpnews) August 11, 2013
A Weak Defense
Bowser’s defense team claimed that he was in a “hyponatremic psychotic delirium” during the killings, which made it impossible for him to think rationally.
“You shouldn’t try to find reason for what happened because we’re dealing with an insane person,” said attorney, Brad Dollar.
The prosecution argued that Bowser had a history of domestic abuse, starting with his first wife, Crystal Parker, who testified that he pushed her, threatened her, broke her dolphin figurines, and pushed her down a flight of stairs. He also argued with Zina for months before the murder and threatened to kill her and “execute” her children.
forensic psychologist Kristi Compton evaluated Bowser for the insanity claim and said that there was no evidence to indicate that he didn’t understand right from wrong during the day of the murders.
“I don’t have evidence of a mental disease or defect created his behavior at the time. [There is] no evidence that he was so depressed at the time that he didn’t know right from wrong.”
[Feature Photo: Dallas County Jail]