A Texas man out on probation for an earlier stabbing is now accused of killing his girlfriend and her puppy, and was captured Tuesday after three days on the run.
Marques Kelvin Potts, 58, now faces a felony murder charge for the death of 43-year-old Melissa Fowler in her northwest Houston apartment on July 29, according to a criminal complaint filed in Harris County District Court. Although charging documents do not disclose their relationship, Houston Police told the Houston Chronicle that the alleged killer and his victim were in a relationship.
Court records show Potts stabbed a female family member in March 2021.
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A protective order from the 2021 arrest ordered Potts to stay 200 feet away from the apartment complex where he allegedly killed Fowler, per the Chronicle. In June of this year, the outlet reported, he agreed to a deal for deferred adjudication in exchange for 5 years probation.
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Marques Kelvin Potts, 58, faces murder charges after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend and her puppy to death in their apartment on July 29. (Harris County Sheriff’s Office)
A Houston patrol officer called in a “stabbing murder” late on Saturday night, per the complaint. At the scene, officers found Fowler riddled with “multiple apparent stab wounds all over her body.”
Fowler’s apartment manager, who said he had known Fowler and Potts for several years and identified the latter as her killer, provided police with security footage capturing “a portion of the murder,” according to the document.
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While Fowler was out, Potts allegedly forced his way into her apartment “using some sort of hand tool” and laid in wait for about 20 minutes.
A few moments after she let herself inside, a frantic Fowler could allegedly be seen “fall[ing] out of her apartment with multiple apparent injuries to her chest,” then trying to “hold onto the door jamb” before Potts wrested her back inside.
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An apartment employee at the front desk knocked on Fowler’s door after hearing screams for help, but left after no one answered.
Stephen Caldwell, one of Fowler’s neighbors, told KPRC that he also heard screaming that night. “I heard two screams,” he told the outlet. “It wasn’t as loud as you would think. I remember that I wanted to get up and see what was going on but I figured it was none of my business. I feel really bad that I didn’t.”
Later, the apartment employee told police, she saw “an older black male” cleaning what appeared to be blood in the hallway.
When she asked the man what had happened, he replied matter-of-factly “I just whooped her a–,” per the court document – afterward, per court documents, the employee called police.
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Inside the apartment, responding officers found Fowler lying face-down in a pool of her own blood with stab wounds to her back and chest and bloodied knives beside her body. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her puppy, per the complaint, “was found in the bathtub stabbed to death.”
A warrant was put out for Potts’ arrest soon afterward, and he was arrested “without incident” on Tuesday, according to a Houston Police Department press release. Police did not say where the arrest took place, according to the Chronicle.
During his time on the run, one neighbor told KPRC that they “hope they catch him.”
He is currently being held on $125,000 bail in Harris County Jail. To account for his alleged violation of probation, according to jail records, his case was transferred to another court on Thursday.
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Another neighbor, who also wished to remain anonymous, told KPRC she regretted not calling law enforcement after Fowler first confided in her about violent incidents that preceded the alleged killing.
“When I told her I was going to call the law, she said no, no, no. Ok if he does it again, I’m going to call the law. But he didn’t do it again, he took her life,” the neighbor said. “I regret allowing her to make the decision, yes I do.”
That neighbor also said that Potts acted “real strange” the day before the fatal attack.
“He tried to talk to me about it. I hate that I didn’t talk to him,” the neighbor said.
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The New Hope Housing Complex – where Fowler and Potts lived – told KTRK in a statement that they “deeply regret the horrific murder of one of [their] residents due to intimate partner violence.” “Our thoughts are with her friends and family as they grieve the loss,” the complex management wrote. “We are working closely with Houston Area Women’s Center to strengthen our ability to ensure any resident who might be in an abusive situation has access to life-saving services.”
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The low income housing unit told the Chronicle that Potts had passed a criminal background check to live in the low-income housing facility.
However, per the outlet, Potts’ financial address is listed as The Right Step – an addiction and mental health treatment facility in northeast Houston.