Suspect Walter Lowe
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Gwinnett man convicted of killing wife as she prepared to leave him

Erica Powell was ready to leave Walter Lowe. Their six-year relationship was “filled with domestic violence” even after their 2016 wedding. Powell had demanded Lowe get sober, get a job and become a better role model for Powell’s 12-year-old son, according to the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office.

When Lowe failed to meet those demands, Powell got a new job that would help her move out of the home they shared. After learning this, Lowe spent weeks crying and acting distraught. Then, on July 20, 2017, he shot Powell in the head in their bedroom, the DA’s office said. He tucked her dead body under the covers in their bed before fleeing the Snellville home, Gwinnett County police said.

MORE | Cop: Before shooting wife, man warned: ‘It’s over. You’ll see later.’

Lowe, 52, was found guilty of Powell’s murder on Aug. 16 after a nearly two-week trial.

Lowe was already facing battery charges for beating Powell in 2015; he was out on bond at the time of her death. He was forbidden to contact Powell as a part of that bond, but Powell allowed him back into the home after they reconciled, according to the DA’s office. 

After the reconciliation, Lowe became violent toward Powell again. She told multiple family members she wanted a divorce and started making plans to move out of their home in the summer of 2017. After Lowe found out, he shot her, leaving her body in bed for her son to find, the DA’s office said. 

Lowe’s sentencing has been delayed to a later date, but the only options when convicted of murder in Georgia are life with the possibility of parole or life without the possibility of parole. The DA’s office did not pursue the death penalty in this case.

Lowe was also convicted of family violence aggravated assault and battery, cruelty to children in the third degree, possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty to counts of family violence battery, simple battery, hindering an emergency telephone call and obstruction of an officer before the trial began. 

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Channel 2's Tony Thomas reports.

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