North Alabama man charged with murder after deadly fight

Local News

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — A Mobile woman’s father was killed after a fight turned deadly in Guntersville, Alabama.

It happened on July 10. The family says they are not happy with the investigation and they want to know exactly what happened to her father, Rodney Cowen.

“My dad was a very simple man, a very loving man. We refer to him as a gentle giant. Just liked to hunt and to fish and to support country and veterans,” said Jennifer Lopes.

Lopes remembers her father Rodney Wayne Cowan, 65.

Guntersville Police Chief Jim Peterson reports that Cowan and 26-year-old Andrew Norwood got into an argument around 11 p.m. on July 10, 2020.

First responders were called and told Cowan had fallen and hit his head.

“They took their word for it that it was a fall. That’s unacceptable. If you’re to protect and serve sometimes that means taking it one step further and asking the questions,” said Lopes.

Cowan was taken to the hospital, where he died the next day.

Peterson told WHNT News 19 that after finding out about the fight, they charged Norwood with second-degree felony assault.

When Cowan died, he said the department and District Attorney’s office upgraded the assault to murder.

Lopes is pleading for more information about the incident and questioning Guntersville police policies, procedures, and training for when someone is critically injured.

“I’m the one who called the police department and investigated further. And that’s what I’m not happy about. That’s what I want someone to admit. I want someone to share with us the policies that when you have someone with deadly bodily injury, what are your policies and procedures, and no one will tell us,” said Lopes.

However, Peterson explained that investigations take time, and they were able to get enough evidence to meet the burden of proof for warrants.

“There was definitive evidence as far as to what happened inside the bar. You cannot obtain felony warrants without meeting the evidence requirement. You have to do a full investigation as quickly as possible and then meet the standards that you’re going to have to meet to actually get the warrant,” said Peterson.

Norwood is charged with murder.

He was booked into the Marshall County Jail but was released on a $100,000 bond.

This is an ongoing investigation and the police ask that if you have any information, call them at 256-571-7571.

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