Teacher charged with murder in deaths of 4 Dallas women

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 09, 2013 4:44 PM

By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - A teacher faced additional murder charges on Friday when he was accused of killing his girlfriend and her daughter in addition to already facing charges of fatally shooting his estranged wife and her daughter.

Erbie Lee Bowser, 44, is accused of murdering the four women during a shooting rampage at two houses late on Wednesday.

The new murder charges are for the deaths of Bowser's girlfriend, Toya Smith, 43, and her daughter, Tasmia Allen, 17, in their southwest Dallas home, police said.

Bowser was charged on Thursday with capital murder for the shooting death of his estranged wife Zina Bowser, 47, and her daughter, Neima Williams, 28, in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty in Texas, which has executed more inmates than any other state. Dallas police said they are recommending a bond of $2.5 million in connection with two of the four murders.

Bowser is also charged with shooting and wounding four other people on Wednesday - three boys ages 11, 13 and 14, and a 17-year-old girl.

All of those killed were believed to have died from gunshot wounds, although police said an explosive device of some kind was also used at the second house.

Zina Bowser, a nurse, had applied for an order of protection against Bowser in January 2011, about a week after she filed for divorce.

As grounds for the order, she said she and her sons once fled the house because Erbie Bowser was threatening her with a knife. During one argument, she picked up the phone to call 911. Erbie Bowser allegedly told her: "Call the police and I will execute your kids."

Bowser was a well-liked special education teacher, in Mesquite, Texas, who resigned in 2010, said a spokeswoman for the Mesquite Independent School District.

The 6-foot-7 Army veteran, who weighs 355 pounds, had been a member of a dance team for the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team but left the squad in 2009, the team said.

(Reporting by Marice Richter and Greg McCune; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Leslie Gevirtz)