Acquitted in 2010 murder, man goes to jail for attacking Columbus police officer

Tavares Deanco “Black” Lowe
Tavares Deanco “Black” Lowe Photo from the Muscogee County Jail

Consider it the revenge of Wayman Glenn James Jr., who was shot through the head June 15, 2010, outside apartments at 917 Decatur Court in Columbus.

Three men went on trial for James’ robbery and homicide in December 2011, but only one was convicted: Willie Theotis “Jack” Jones, who was sentenced to life without parole.

A second suspect, Shannon C. “Scooter” Fields, was found not guilty of murder, and the jury deadlocked on his armed robbery charge. He went free.

The third suspect in James’ slaying was Tavares Deanco “Black” Lowe, whom the jury also found not guilty of murder and armed robbery. He went free, too.

Today Jones, 42, still is serving his life sentence at the Jack T. Rutledge State Prison here in Columbus.

At age 20, Fields was gunned down March 20, 2013, inside the Foxy Lady Lounge, 3023 Victory Drive. His homicide remains unsolved.

Now Lowe, 42, whose criminal history dates back to 1993, is going to serve time after pleading guilty Monday to assaulting a police officer last year during a drug arrest.

So, each of the three men tried for killing James in 2011 now is either dead or in jail.

Police said James was a 30-year-old Army veteran who showed off a wad of cash at the Decatur Court apartments before Jones blasted him through the skull with a 12-gauge shotgun to get his money. Investigators later found a shotgun in Jones’ apartment.

But defense attorneys for the other suspects hammered prosecutors for a lack of forensic evidence tying their clients to the crime.

For almost 16 months Fields was free, until a gunman walked into the Foxy Lady Lounge about 2 a.m. on a Wednesday and fired multiple shots, leaving Fields dead at the scene and wounding a second patron. Detectives found no evidence linking Fields’ homicide to James’ murder, but said the shooter definitely targeted Fields.

Lowe jailed again

That left Lowe, who was able to go about his business until May 19, 2014, when police charged him with possessing cocaine, hydrocodone and clonidine, a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, and a firearm he couldn’t have legally as a convicted felon.

He apparently was out on bond for that case when around 7:30 p.m. on March 18, 2016, police noticed a car backed up to a building at 3400 Terminal Court, just a few blocks from Decatur Court, in the same neighborhood off Illges Road.

As officers approached, they smelled marijuana and saw a gun. Lowe got out of the car and tried to run away.

As he fled, Lowe punched police Cpl. Nathan Norton in the face. Though officers Tased him, he continued to fight when Officer Jacob Cook wrestled him down, authorities said.

Lowe rolled atop Cook, got his hands around the officer’s neck and nearly choked him unconscious before others intervened, said Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Schwartz.

During Lowe’s arrest, police found cocaine, a set of digital scales and a stolen gun. They initially charged Lowe with multiple counts that included theft by receiving stolen property, having a drug-related object, and using a gun to commit a crime.

Those counts were dropped Monday as he pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer, felony obstruction of aa officer, possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it, and being a convicted felon with a gun.

He was represented by Columbus attorney Susan Henderson.

Judge Maureen Gottfried sentenced him to 20 years in prison with five to serve, and the rest on probation.

It was the second time this year that Lowe has faced a judge. On Jan. 24, he pleaded to charges stemming from his 2014 arrest, and was sentenced to eight years with a year to serve.

Here are his previous convictions, according to court records:

  • On Feb. 26, 2001, he was convicted of aggravated assault, second-degree cruelty to children and second-degree criminal damage to property.
  • On March 31, 1998, he was convicted of criminal trespass, obstructing law enforcement and being a felon with a firearm.
  • On Nov. 22, 1996, he was convicted of possessing cocaine.
  • On July 16, 1993, he was convicted of selling a controlled substance, and of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute it.