Teacher charged with killing four Dallas women held on $6.5 million bond

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 12, 2013 11:27 AM

By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - A 355-pound U.S. Army veteran was being held in Texas on $6.5 million bond on Monday, following last week's rampage that killed four women, including his estranged wife and girlfriend, officials said.

Former teacher Erbie Bowser, 44, is charged with three counts of capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault for a shooting rampage that began at the Dallas home of his girlfriend and ended at the nearby home of his estranged wife. He was arraigned on the charges on Sunday, authorities said.

Police said the 6-foot, 7-inch (2 meter) former member of the dance team for the Dallas Mavericks basketball team fatally shot girlfriend, Toya Smith, 43, and her daughter, Tasmia Allen, 17, at their southwest Dallas home. He also wounded Smith's 14-year-old son and a 17-year-old girl, a family friend, there.

He then went to the DeSoto home of his ex-wife, where he tossed an explosive device into the house before fatally shooting his ex-wife, Zina Bowser, 47, and her daughter Neima Williams, 28. Zina Bowser's two sons, 11 and 13, were shot and wounded, police said.

Bowser may face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder.

Zina Bowser, a nurse practitioner, had sought a protective order against Bower in January 2011, about a week after she filed for divorce. In her application for the protective order, she said she and her sons had once fled the house because Erbie Bowser was threatening her with a knife.

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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 by some accounts a well-liked special education teacher in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, He resigned in 2010, said a spokeswoman for the Mesquite Independent School District.

(Editing by Chris Francescani and Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)