PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said an Oregon woman ran for help after her husband was hit by a car, but now is in jail accused of killing him.
KPTV reports Jennifer Lowery is in the Multnomah County Jail after pleading not guilty to a judge Thursday on a charge of second-degree manslaughter.
The 48-year-old woman is accused of killing her 49-year-old husband, Mark Lowery, early Wednesday morning.
According to court documents released late Thursday, the couple was drinking at the Division Sports Pub at Southeast Division and Hogan Place. A man who works at the bar said the Lowerys were regulars.
At around 2:45 a.m. couple received a call from an acquaintance asking for help. They argued about going to help, with Mark Lowery leaving the bar, followed by his wife and the bartender.
Investigators believe that the bartender attempted to stop both of the Lowerys from driving before going back into the bar.
Surveillance footage then shows Mark Lowery walking across the parking lot and stopping at the edge of Hogan Place, while Jennifer Lowery drove the couple’s pickup out of the lot and onto Hogan Place heading right toward Division Street.
The truck can be seen on video driving past Mark Lowery and coming to a stop, then reversing and hitting and running over him.
The pickup then pulls forward and turns left onto Division before circling back on Hogan Drive to come back to Hogan Place, coming to a stop next to the Lowery’s body.
The vehicle then backed up and parked again in the lot of the bar and Jennifer Lowery got out of the truck.
She pounded on the door and asked for help from the staff, saying someone was hit and asking workers to call 911.
Officers initially thought Mark Lowery might have been the victim of a hit-and-run, but as they continued to investigate, they ruled out that possibility.
Jennifer Lowery initially told officers that a truck hit her husband, but later could not provide any details of the vehicle, how the crash happened or where the vehicle went.
While she insisted that she was not driving the pickup, investigators found her purse, phone and other personal belongings in the front of the vehicle, and the driver’s seat was pulled forward indicating a shorter driver. Officers thought this was odd as Mark Lowery was 6 foot 2 inches tall and would have had difficulty driving with the seat in that position.
Jennifer Lowery told officers at the scene she had one drink at the bar, though bar staff told police she had three or four drinks. Officers noted she seemed heavily intoxicated, slurring her speech and unable to perform basic tasks while smelling of alcohol.
Lowery’s attorney and some supporters did not want to comment after court Thursday. Investigators claimed that she may a flight risk after asking someone for her passport and cash in excess of $20,000 during a call made while in police custody.
Jennifer Lowery faces charges of manslaughter, DUII, reckless driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons.
She is also awaiting trial for a separate case of third-degree assault charges in Clackamas County.