Thursday, September 23, 2010
On May 10, 2010, Tim Lowrey begged the Mobile, Alabama, city and district attorneys to help his girlfriend, Wendy Stevens, and for them to arrest her estranged husband, Michael Berry. Lowrey asked, “Why hasn’t the judge signed the order on the felony charge so your guys can arrest Berry?” The district attorney responded, “Not to worry. They have it under control, and he will be taken into custody on Wednesday when he shows up for his court date regarding visitation for the kids.”
Lowrey persisted. “He is going to kill her, he is obsessed with Wendy," he pleaded with the D.A. "You have to do something now. If you don’t, she will die.” He continued with the city and state for another three hours, going through the lengthy documentation of almost daily police reports, stalking, prior documented and sustained injuries, hospital reports, hundreds of threatening text messages, e-mails, and the permanent order of protection. But it was useless. The state felt that Michael Berry, a part-time postal worker, "didn’t pose that much of a danger.” Lowrey was relentless and would not back down -- until he was finally asked to leave.
Tim was preparing to leave early the next morning for a job assignment out of state and wouldn’t be back until the weekend. He did not want to leave Wendy and her children, now under his roof, knowing that Michael Berry was a ticking time bomb. He asked Wendy to be careful, thinking that the daily calls for help and police reports were only flaming Michael Berry’s violent temper.
The next day Tim left and Wendy Stevens cautiously went about her day. After work, she picked up her kids and at 6:45 p.m. was at a drive-thru ATM, with her four children in the car, when five rounds of gunfire blasted into the SUV, killing the 36-year-old mother from Mobile. Immediately after the shooting, an all-points bulletin was issued for the now-armed and dangerous Berry. He was apprehended and charged the following day with Wendy's murder and held on $500,000 bond.
Tim Lowrey was in Michigan when Wendy’s stepfather called with the news that she was dead, immediately followed with, “Why the hell didn’t you protect her?” Her immediate family was angry with Tim for not doing more to keep her alive. I have a news flash for Wendy’s family; the system failed her, not Tim Lowrey. The children have all been separated and are living with relatives in various parts of the county. They will be forever scarred by this single, life-altering event. Four children witnessed the cold-blooded murder of their mother, and that vision is literally tattooed inside of them for the remainder of their days on earth. The repeated memory of these children will be of being helpless and watching as Mommy is shot, bullets entering her body with lightning speed, while buckled-up in her seat, slumped over the steering wheel. It is the last picture and memory they will have of their Mother.
In my opinion, no amount of therapy will prepare them for their life's journey. The months ahead will be cruel as they attempt to get through a single day without reliving this nightmare. The news coverage of this case will go on for months and perhaps years.
We don’t often hear, after the fact, when someone is killed as a result of intimate partner homicide, about those who did everything in their power, almost getting themselves arrested, to help save a life. After personally reviewing copies of the original case file, I am outraged! The blood of Wendy Stevens is literally dripping from the chairs onto the floors of both the city and state attorney’s desk. They killed her as sure as Michael Berry emptied his illegal firearm into her that day.
This is not the last you will hear of this case, nor of Tim Lowery. Tune in at 9 p.m. EST, Monday, September 27, 2010 to Intimate Partner Homicide for the rest of the facts about this case.
Case Overview: Wendy Stevens filed for divorce in January 2010 and had gotten a court order of protection against her estranged husband who was, according to the judge's order, violent and stalking her. On Tuesday, May 11, 2010, after he allegedly killed Wendy, Berry fled the crime scene. On Wednesday, he was arrested and charged with her murder. That same morning, he had been scheduled to appear in court for violating the protective order.