Erich Nowsch confesses to killing Vegas mom in recordings
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) -- "I did it. I did, I swear they was gonna pop on me bros."
And, so begins what police say, is the confession that proves 19-year-old Erich Milton Nowsch Jr., killed Tammy Meyers.
The confessing is heard an hour into the interview.
Nowsch has been telling detectives that he had nothing to do with the mother's death. He heard about it, sure, from neighbors.
He knew details of the shooting death but only what he heard on the news or through rumors.
He admits he knew the Meyers family. He had been to their home for dinners and he knew their kids.
But then, after being pressed with details for a little more than an hour, he cracks.
"I didn't mean to hit no mom with that," he says, appearing to break down.
What followed is a story born of paranoia.
"My first instinct? This is the people who are threatening my family's life. This is my time. This is my chance to get rid of them. Like, this is it," Nowsch said.
Nowsch told the cops drug dealers were threatening his life. He told him they'd kill his family and skin his cat.
He was so fearful that he bought a gun on that February 8 when their fates collided.
As Nowsch smoked weed in a park, Meyers was giving her 15-year-old daughter a driving lesson in a nearby parking lot.
The family would tell police that Meyers was threatened by another driver.
She went home and was worried. She told her son to get his gun.
They went looking for the mysterious driver who threatened her.
Nowsch, now high and stewing in his own paranoia, watched as the Meyer's car passed again and again.
Each time becoming more convinced that behind the wheel were those drug dealers.
Paranoia took over.
Nowsch hopped in a friend's car. He was now convinced it was either him or the other driver.
"That's when I just cocked it back and started shooting. I knew god damn well, I really thought that I was going to get shot at. I thought it was going down," Nowsch says.
Nowsch reloaded his gun. He noticed the driver's door of the Meyer's car was open and he was worried the driver had gotten away.
"I unloaded the clip," He told detectives. "I saw legs and just started shooting at legs. This wasn't supposed to happen. You don't understand. I took out the wrong person dude."
The recording is nearly three hours long. At one point the 19-year-old told police he was high.
Now the detectives say they have their man.
And, as Erich puts the pieces together, he decides to call his mother to tell her he wasn't coming home.
"Mom, I'm going away for a long time," Nowsch said.
Nowsch faces murder, attempted-murder, weapons and conspiracy charges in the February slaying in a cul-de-sac west of downtown Las Vegas. He and co-defendant Derrick Andrews, 27, who is accused of driving Nowsch, have pleaded not guilty.
In the taped interview, Nowsch opens up to investigators, talking about his rap music, family, drug use and dealings, and how he ended up firing shots that night.
The thoughts he conveyed ranged from scared and remorseful to paranoid - at one point, he theorized that one of Meyers' sons was helping an enemy out to kill him.
(Associated Press contributed to this story.)