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Defendants take plea deals in Vegas mom 'road rage' slaying

LAS VEGAS — A 20-year-old shooter and 27-year-old driver getaway driver took plea deals Friday in a closely watched murder case stemming from a shootout that killed a Las Vegas mother of four in a neighborhood cul-de-sac.

Erich Milton Nowsch Jr. pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder with use of a weapon in the February 2015 slaying of Tammy Meyers.

Nowsch and his lawyer, Augustus Claus, told Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani that he'll plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in a separate case that alleges he held a knife to the throat of a 13-year-old boy. That plea is scheduled next Thursday.

Nowsch will face a minimum of between 11 and 18 years, and up to life in prison, at sentencing April 21 in the murder case. He'll face one to six years on the knife case.

The driver, Derrick Andrews, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and accessory to murder. He'll face two to 15 years at sentencing.

The pleas avoided a trial in a case that drew intense attention during a manhunt for Tammy Meyers' killer, and was depicted last month in an ABC-TV 20/20 broadcast.

"I'm glad my children won't have to go through (a trial). We can start the healing process," said Robert Meyers, Tammy Meyers' husband.

Of Nowsch and Andrews, he said: "They made a bad mistake and a bad choice that day, and they're going to have to live with it the rest of their lives."

The slaying was initially cast as a road rage incident that came while Tammy Myers taught her 15-year-old daughter to drive late at night at a school parking lot.

Later, it was revealed that Nowsch lived in the neighborhood, knew the Meyers family and had even been to their home for dinner.

The prosecutor in the case, David Stanton, concluded that a string of coincidences and misperceptions led to the slaying.

Daughter Kristal Meyers told investigators that after she and her mom were threatened on the road by an aggressive driver, Tammy Meyers dropped her at home and went back out to drive around the neighborhood with her adult son, Brandon Meyers, and his gun.

Nowsch, who was characterized by the prosecutor as a neighborhood marijuana and anxiety-medication dealer, had no car.

He told police he summoned Andrews and his car because he thought a green sedan cruising late around the school contained drug thugs who threatened him and his single mother and her infant daughter.

Nowsch and Andrews, who were arrested separately several days later, aren't believed to have been involved in any initial road confrontation.

Andrews admitted Friday he was driving while Nowsch allegedly opened fire twice — once while Tammy and Brandon Meyers were in the family's green Buick Park Avenue sedan several blocks from the Meyers home, and then in a fatal 24-shot fusillade in the cul-de-sac outside their home.

"I admit that I was present and drove him," Andrews said.

"You knew a shooting took place?" the judge asked.

"Yes," Andrews replied.

Police said Brandon Meyers fired three shots back with his legally owned handgun, but didn't hit anything.

Tammy Meyers, 44, was struck in the head by one bullet. She died two days later.