Bowling Green man charged in West Ninth Street homicide

Cortemius Martez Peoples

A Bowling Green man was charged Friday morning with murder, robbery and burglary by the Owensboro Police Department.

The arrest is in connection with a Sunday morning shooting that killed a man in his West Ninth Street home.

Cortemius Martez Peoples, 42, of Bowling Green, was arrested Friday morning by the Bowling Green Police Department. Detectives with the Owensboro Police Department charged Peoples with murder in the death of Nick Decker, who was found dead in his home at 12:11 a.m. Sunday in his home in the 1500 block of West Ninth Street.

OPD Police Chief Art Ealum said detectives were able to recover fingerprints from the scene, which were analyzed by the department's latent fingerprint examiner. The department ran the fingerprints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, a national fingerprint database available to OPD, Ealum said.

"It was literally great, great police work," Ealum said Friday afternoon. "Investigators and officers on the scene collected and preserved evidence at the scene, and have been working non-stop.

"This is one of those cases that is very difficult," because of a lack of witnesses, Ealum said. "You rely on evidence."

In addition the murder charge, Peoples was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon in connection with the shooting.

The Bowling Green Police Department put surveillance on a home where Peoples' girlfriend lived, Ealum said. Friday morning, officers there saw Peoples at the home and arrested him on a burglary warrant.

That warrant stems from a May burglary, that also occurred at Decker's home in Owensboro, Ealum said.

After his arrest, Peoples was brought back to Owensboro for questioning. "After (questioning) Mr. Peoples left little doubt he is the shooter of Nick Decker," Ealum said.

Search warrants were served in Bowling Green and a weapon was recovered, Ealum said. Detectives have not determined what led to the shooting.

"There are several possible theories," said officer Andrew Boggess, OPD's public information officer. "I don't think we want to narrow it down."

Surveillance video from the home shows two people fleeing the home, one with a gun, the other carrying a box. Ealum said detectives are still working to determine the identity of the second person.

Ealum credited Friday's charges to the department's evidence collection unit, and to being able to identify a suspect through fingerprints. OPD officer Jim Parm is a latent fingerprint examiner, which is a highly specialized field, OPD officials said previously.

"I hate that somebody lost their life, but it's a sense of relief to capture the individual involved, and more of a relief to bring some peace to the community," Ealum said.

The case is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call OPD at 270-687-8888, or Owensboro Crime Stoppers at 270-687-8484. Crime Stoppers is anonymous and pays cash rewards for tips that lead to arrests in cases.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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