The Journal Gazette
Friday, March 15, 2019 1:00 am

Accused killer wants case tossed

Motion: Witness in coach's death compelled to lie

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A man charged with killing a Fort Wayne football coach two years ago wants a judge to throw out his case.

Henry E. Underwood, 25, claims in documents filed without his attorney Thursday in Allen Superior Court that a key witness in the case lied to investigators. The 21/2-half page, handwritten motion to dismiss contains numerous spelling and grammar errors and says Jaevin Bowie was forced to lie, but it doesn't indicate how.

Instead, Underwood provides an alternate version of events that led to the slaying of a man.

He is charged with murder, felony murder and attempted robbery in the May 19, 2017, shooting death of Terrance Miles. Miles, 36, was an assistant football coach at North Side High School and administrative assistant at Forest Park Elementary.

Bowie, 22, shot Miles that night and “lied multiple times and got caught in several lies doing his interview,” the document states.

“I didn't murder no one and didn't have the closes idea Javin Bowie were gonna wound somebody,” Underwood wrote.

Miles was shot multiple times and was found by police in a grassy area near the East Central Towers apartment complex after they were called about shots fired. Underwood and Bowie were together the night of the shooting, rooting through cars near the complex as Miles emerged from a building, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Underwood had been drinking and “acts crazy” when he drinks, Bowie and another witness reportedly told police.

Police said Bowie told detectives in an interview that Underwood walked up to Miles and shot him several times. Surveillance video shows Bowie moving toward a trash chute at the building, where he reportedly told police two guns were discarded.

Underwood calls the statements untrue in his motion and claims Bowie changed his story after being confronted by police.

“Then he change his statement and said he seen me shoot Mr. Miles,” Underwood wrote. “He were lieing the whole time. But the fact (is) he was the shooter.”

Bowie accepted a plea agreement last month and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

It's unlikely Underwood's pitch to have his case dismissed will be accepted, and court records show Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull has not acted on the request. A four-day trial is scheduled to start Aug. 27.

Bowie is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 6 and faces up to 81/2 years in prison.

Underwood has been in jail since he was arrested July 12 and charged with killing Miles.

He and Bowie were named suspects shortly after the killing, and Underwood was charged May 31, 2017, with being a felon in possession of a handgun and false informing. Bowie was arrested a day later and charged with assisting a criminal who committed murder. 

The charges against Underwood were dropped in June 2018. Bowie's initial charges were dismissed so the investigation could be completed, prosecutors said at the time. He was later charged with murder and arrested in February 2018 by U.S. marshals in Mississippi. 

“I hope Javin man up for what he done so I can go home,” Underwood states in court documents.

Sign up for our crime and courts newsletter

Sent daily when events warrant