More details in death outside traffic court

February 8, 2011 6:55:20 PM PST
More details are emerging in the death of a pregnant mother who died after a confrontation outside Philadelphia Traffic Court.

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner says 21-year-old Tovoyia Owens was killed by blunt force trauma to the neck.

Owens was 4 months pregnant and the mother of a 3-year-old girl.

Authorities say the incident began just before 2:00 p.m. Monday in the area of 8th and Spring Garden streets.

Sources tell Action News Owens came to the court with her boyfriend to retrieve her car which was impounded due to unpaid parking tickets.

On the way in, police say, Owens and her boyfriend ran into her ex-boyfriend where an argument ensued.

Owens continued into court but realized she did not have enough money to get her car back, so she left the courtroom to talk to her boyfriend.

While leaving the building, Owens was approached by her ex-boyfriend and his brother.

Owens was then beaten, police said, and was severely injured. She was taken to Hahnemann Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"People were shocked. It happened so fast, you couldn't really do nothing about it; it just came out of nowhere," witness Latrice Cooper said.

"We saw all these guys beating this girl and no one tried to help," witness David Cole said. "She was screaming for help, 'stop, please, help me!'"

Police took the ex-boyfriend's brother into custody for questioning but he has been released without criminal charges.

Investigators also say they know who the ex-boyfriend is, but are not releasing his name at this time. They expect to pick him up soon.

Detectives are examining video that was captured by no fewer than seven surveillance cameras nearby businesses. Owens was a freshman at Cheyney University and she worked two jobs in West Philadelphia pharmacies.