In ‘tragic accident,’ one cousin dead, one behind bars

Bailey was sentenced to 18 years for shooting his cousin in 2014

A.D. Bailey sits and listens as he listens to the mother of John Charles Lowery Jr. speak in court during Bailey's sentencing." (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)
A.D. Bailey sits and listens as he listens to the mother of John Charles Lowery Jr. speak in court during Bailey's sentencing." (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – “You’re killing yourselves.”

In a packed Multnomah County courtroom on Wednesday, the grandmother of a 25-year-old homicide victim made a plea to young men who carry weapons.

“Put down your guns,” Linda Dorn said.

She was speaking to A.D. Bailey III who, moments earlier, pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon for the October 18, 2014 killing of John Charles Lowery Jr.

Linda Dorn, the grandmother of John Charles Lowery, speaks before the court urging young men to put down their weapons. (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)
Linda Dorn, the grandmother of John Charles Lowery, speaks before the court urging young men to put down their weapons. (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)

“Bloods, Crips, Hoovers….that don’t mean nothing,” Dorn said.

The 71-year-old grandmother of Lowery asked that both families find closure and move on.

“We might as well go home now,” she said. “Let it go. It’s time to let it go. I asked God to let me see this over, and it’s over.”

Police believe Bailey is affiliated with the Hoover criminal gang.

However, the shooting of Lowery was not gang related, as many initially thought.

It turns out, Bailey and Lowery are cousins.

Bailey’s criminal defense attorney, Alicia L. Hercher, said the shooting “was a tragic accident” and an example of how lives can be forever changed because of the decision to carry a gun.

“They had no animosity,” Hercher said. “This should have never happened.”

The shooting occurred while Bailey was in a parked vehicle at the 7-Eleven/76 Gas Station at Southeast 182nd Avenue and Southeast Division Street.

: A.D. A.D. Bailey III speaks to his family and the family of John Charles Lowery Jr. and explains why he shot and killed Lowery in October 2014." (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)III speaks to his family and the family of John Charles Lowery Jr. and explains why he shot and killed Lowery in October 2014." (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)
A.D. Bailey III speaks to his family and the family of John Charles Lowery Jr. and explains why he shot and killed Lowery in October 2014.” (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)

In court on Wednesday, Bailey explained what happened. He said he was on edge after he and some of his family members were shot at during a suspected gang-related shooting in Portland about two weeks earlier. Detectives on Wednesday said it was the first time they had heard about the shooting.

Portland Police Officer Charles Asheim, who is assigned to the bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team, said he not aware of any shootings in which Bailey was targeted around the time of the homicide; however, he cautioned that many times GET is not able to identify all of the victim(s) and suspect(s) at shooting scenes.

Asheim noted that Bailey was present at a shooting where another Hoover gang member shot three people at the Exotica Gentleman’s Club on April, 25, 2015.

GET investigated 4 shootings and a stabbing in October, 2014 and officers could not find any that had a definitive link to Bailey, according to Asheim.

As Bailey sat in that parked car, as the passenger, he saw a person near the gas pumps – later identified as Lowery – make a gesture. Bailey told the court, “I didn’t know it was John John.”

Lowery had a cellphone in hand. Bailey told the court he thought it was a gun, and that Lowery may have been a rival gang member based on his clothing.

He fired multiple rounds from what police believe was a .357 revolver. The windows in his car were rolled up and Bailey shot right through them.

“I want to know why,” Fannie Page, Lowery’s mother asked of Bailey.

“I didn’t know it was John John,” Bailey kept repeating.

Bailey added that he perceived the gesture Lowery made with his cellphone as a “serious” threat.

“I just reacted,” Bailey said. “I’m sorry…I gotta live with this the rest of my life.”

This was the first time both families got to hear about what really happened.

Fannie Page holds up a photo of her son as A.D. Bailey III is sentenced for killing her son back in October 2014." (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)
Fannie Page holds up a photo of her son as A.D. Bailey III is sentenced for killing her son back in October 2014.” (Brent Weisberg/KOIN. May 24, 2017)

“I don’t hate you,” Lowery’s grandmother, Dorn, said. “I’m very proud of you for standing up and saying what you did.”

The feeling inside the courtroom was tense throughout Wednesday’s hearing. A detective from the Gresham Police Department and one of its patrol supervisors sat in the courtroom for the hearing. They were joined by an officer assigned to the Portland Police Bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team, an officer with the East Metro Gang Taskforce, and a patrol deputy with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. Additional corrections deputies were brought into the courtroom, while others lingered outside, to make sure things never got out of hand.

Only once were the proceedings truly interrupted. One of Lowery’s family members stood up angrily after hearing Bailey’s explanation.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Christopher J. Marshall raised his voice and ordered everyone who wasn’t law enforcement to be seated.

He reminded them of what Dorn said to the courtroom just moments earlier, while recognizing the pain everyone was in.

“We don’t hate you,” Dorn said to Bailey. “There’s no grudge – we just hurt.”

Judge Marshall sentenced Bailey to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter count and 3 years on the unlawful use of a weapon charge, for a total of 18 years. The 3 year prison sentence will run consecutively to the 15 year prison sentence.

After the hearing, Bailey met privately with Dorn and his father, A.D. Bailey Jr., to discuss the shooting in more detail.

Multnomah County deputy district attorney Nathan Vasquez said Lowery’s death has been a “devastating loss” for both families.

“John John was loved…his loss is felt every day,” Vasquez said.

Vasquez said the plea agreement will allow the Lowery family to move on without “this case serving as a daily reminder about the horrible loss.”

According to police, Fannie Page, Lowery’s mother, was the intended target in a shooting on March 26, 2016 near her home in Northeast Portland.

James Lee Lewis was eventually convicted in that shooting and is currently incarcerated.  He is associated to Hoovers and Unthanks in Portland.