A murder charge was dismissed on Wednesday against a Fort Worth man who had been accused of being involved in the shooting death of a rapper outside a nightclub, according to his attorney and Tarrant County court records.
The charge against 30-year-old Bobby Lee Dow was dropped.
Defense attorney Christy Jack said the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office dismissed the case due to “prosecutorial discretion.”
“Since Bobby’s arrest more than four years ago, he has always maintained his innocence,” said Jack, of the Fort Worth law firm Varghese Summersett, in a Wednesday news release. “There were multiple individuals armed with guns captured on video near the scene of the crime that night. Bobby was not one of them.”
Jack said it took years to obtain the outcome, but the delay was worth the wait.
“I credit the new administration at the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for finally giving their prosecutors the discretion to thoroughly reevaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this case and act accordingly,” Dow’s attorney said. “Bobby is looking forward to jumping back in the saddle and racing again.”
Dow’s cousin, Jamie Harris, was also charged with murder after he was accused of being involved in the deadly shooting.
But court records indicated that Harris was sentenced on Tuesday to five years of probation on a charge of deadly conduct in the case.
Prosecutors have not released any comments on the charges or case.
Jamie Deshawn Harris and Bobby Lee Dow were not accused of actually shooting 43-year-old Manuel Brown on Dec. 9, 2019, but of causing his death by firing a gun from a moving car while trying to flee from the commission or attempted commission of a felony — aggravated assault.
The shooting occurred around 12:30 am as Brown stood near his BMW, parked alongside a curb near Club New Start, 4505 Miller Ave.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the shooting had apparently been sparked by an argument that started in the club and involved several people, including Brown.
“Everyone involved then went outside where the argument continued and escalated into a shooting,” homicide Detective J. Cedillo stated in the affidavit. “After the shooting, Manuel stumbled into the club and stated he had been shot.”
Brown, a rapper who was known for helping the community, was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Investigators determined a separate but related drive-by shooting occurred a short time later in the 4400 block of South Edgewood Terrace in which Dow’s father was shot three times. Harris returned fire with a .45 caliber gun in that shooting, the affidavit states.
When interviewed by Cedillo, Harris denied being at Club New Start or being involved in Brown’s shooting.
Surveillance video from the club showed Harris had been at the club and was among those involved in a disturbance with Brown inside, the affidavit states. Detectives also were able to determine that Dow had been at the club with Harris.
In Dec. 19, 2019 interview with Cedillo and homicide Detective E. Pate, Dow acknowledged being involved in the disturbance with Brown, Harris and others inside the club. He told the detectives that after the group had moved outside, someone fired a gun, and the crowd dispersed.
Dow told investigators that he had handed Harris a gun as they got into his Chevrolet pickup to leave. As Dow drove off, Harris fired the gun from the passenger window because they were being shot at, Dow told investigators.
Dow said he dropped his truck off at another location. He, Harris and two others were later sitting inside a Ford Crown Victoria outside his grandmother’s house on South Edgewood Terrace when someone shot at the residence, the affidavit states.
Dow’s father, who had stepped outside the house to see who was shooting, was hit three times in the gunfire. He survived his injuries, police say.
Harris returned fire with a .45-caliber gun. Police confiscated his gun and shell casings as part of their investigation.
Harris agreed to be interviewed a second time on Dec. 20, 2019. This time, he admitted to being involved in the disturbance at the club with Brown and firing a .45 caliber gun that his cousin had handed him through the passenger window, the affidavit states.
But Harris told detectives he had fired in the opposite direction of where Brown was standing because several individuals were in the parking lot with guns, the affidavit states.
Police found a number of .45 caliber casings near the front of the club and around Brown’s BMW. Also found near the car were multiple 9mm casings and a .40-caliber casing, the affidavit states.
Ballistics tests later showed a projectile recovered from the rear quarter of Brown’s BMW had been fired from the same .45-caliber gun taken from Harris, the affidavit states.
Cedillo wrote that based on the evidence obtained in the investigation, he believed the two cousins’ actions resulted in Brown’s death.
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram’s archives.