JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- A friend of a single mother found shot after she was tossed out of a vehicle off Cortez Road is now charged with her murder
Charles Rowlands, 29, is facing second degree murder charges in the death of Victoria Braddock, 28.
Officers and paramedics answering a hit-and-run call on Cortez Road about 3 p.m.on May 15 discovered Braddock suffering from a gunshot wound, police previously reported. Braddock, 28, was rushed to UF Health Jacksonville but did not survive.
Surveillance video from a nearby camera showed a black Chevrolet TrailBlazer speeding away, the arrest report said. A friend told police Braddock had been seen May 7 with a man who has a black TrailBlazer and that she had been using the man’s phone at the time. Another friend said Braddock was with an Uber driver named Charles, who goes by “Row” and drives a black SUV, when she was killed.
Detectives traced the phone number provided by Braddock’s friend to Rowlands, who had a 2005 black TrailBlazer registered in his name, according to the report. The report also noted that Braddock was with Rowlands in the SUV when he was arrested April 25 on cocaine possession and concealed firearm charges.
Detectives interviewed Rowlands’ girlfriend, who said she noticed a lot of blood inside her boyfriend’s SUV the day Braddock was killed, according to the report. She recalled that while Rowlands was cleaning the vehicle, he disclosed that he had done “something bad.” She acknowledged he owned a short-barrel shotgun. An autopsy found that Braddock’s wound was consistent with a shotgun blast.
Police say Rowlands sold the vehicle on May 25. Police inspected the vehicle after the sale, found evidence including blood that Rowland had attempted to clean up.
During an interview with police, Rowlands denied owning any guns aside from a .40-caliber handgun that was recovered by police at the time of his April 25 arrest. Rowlands was taken into custody on the evidence tampering charge as the Sheriff’s Office continued its investigation.
He was charged with murder on Monday.
"We do know that they were friends and that they had a drug relationship, however we don't know why he did it at this time." JSO Lt. Steve Gallaher said.