Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announced Friday an arrest in the April 21 shooting death of Jacob Rowden.
Patterson said that Cody Browning, 32, of Springfield is facing charges of second degree murder, second degree domestic assault, first degree tampering with a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm, and armed criminal action.
According to court documents, Springfield police responded to 1049 South Stewart because a man had been shot. When they arrived, the found Jacob Rowden with a gunshot wound in the area under his left armpit. He was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
During the initial investigation, a woman identified as Cody Browning’s mother, called 911 and said she believed her son was involved in Rowden’s shooting. She told the operator she picked up Browning at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on South Glenstone and took him to the Subway down the street. She said Browning told her he was going to kill himself because he shot a man who was robbing him and he thought the “man was dead.”
A witness said that the two men were inside the home arguing about “something petty,” which was later described as Browning finding his new phone in the pocket of Rowden’s pants while Rowden was sleeping. She said she heard Rowden say “f***ing shoot me”, Browning say he was tired of people taking his stuff, and then a single shot. Rowden said “you shot me” and Browning denied it, although the witness saw Browning with a handgun in his hand. The witness said she thought Browning ran out the back door while Rowden tried to get out the front door. The witness and another woman pulled Rowden to the front yard “to get him closer to help” and tried CPR.
A second witness said that he went to Browning’s house and took some Xanax, causing him to fall asleep. He woke up when Browning’s cell phone rang and he noticed $60 was stolen from his wallet. He said Jacob woke up about half an hour later and was upset that some meth had been stolen from his wallet. The witness gave Rowden some of his drugs because he felt bad that Jacob’s drugs had been stolen. Browning then allegedly pulled out a handgun, cocked it, and forced the witness to give Rowden all of his drugs. The witness said he didn’t see the shot because a woman sitting next to him was “distracting him” but believed it was Browning who fired the shot.
Around 12:30 a.m., a 911 call came in about a man assaulting a woman in a van at the Kum and Go at 2404 East Sunshine. The female was left at the store and the male left in the van.
When police arrived, they found the woman who said that she had picked up Browning and was driving him around town until he assaulted her in the van. The victim said that he had stolen her van. She said she had a child with Browning and that they had a romantic relationship until January.
The woman told police that Browning’s mother had called her and said that he was suicidal and that he only wanted to speak to her. She picked him up at the laundromat next to Archie’s Lounge and drove around for an hour, trying to talk him into turning himself in and to not kill himself. She said when they arrived at the Kum N’ Go for gas, Browning became aggressive: he took off her glasses and broke them, punched her in the ear, dumped water on her, tried to gouge her eyes out, grabbed her by the hair, and then grabbed her throat and choked her.
She escaped after blowing the van’s horn and gaining the attention of two men at the gas pumps. Browning came around to the driver’s seat and drove off in the van.
The victim added that Browning said he shot in “defense” because “the guy tried to rob him.”
On April 22, the van was found at 914 South Crutcher. Browning’s wallet was found inside the van.
Also on the April 22, a Springfield officer contacted Ryan Brewer and found him in possession of a black handgun. Brewer told the officer that the gun had been used in a crime the previous night and he was in the process of getting rid of it. After being read the Miranda Warning, Brewer admitted it was the gun used to kill Rowden and gave the officer the location of Browning.
Brewer also said the gun was hidden near the shooting site and that he had gone to get it for Browning. He said Browning claimed that Rowden “rushed him with a screwdriver” and the shooting was in self-defense.
Browning was taken into custody at 622 South Kickapoo and would not make a statement after being read his rights.
Browning has no attorney of record listed in Casenet. His next hearing has not yet been scheduled.