Daniel Rowe's parents face accused killer for first time

Rowe, 20, shot last July while taking out trash from Blind Rabbit Restaurant

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Daniel Rowe's parents cried Tuesday morning as they watched the man accused of murdering their son stand before a Duval County judge.

Rowe, a 20-year-old father of two, was shot and killed July 22, 2015, while taking out the garbage in an alley behind the Blind Rabbit, near the intersection of King and College streets.

Erron Coleman, 25, has been charged with Rowe's murder, along with armed robbery, burglary and weapons charges. He was ordered held without bond on the murder and robbery charges. Bond was set at $250,000 on the weapons charge.

Rowe's mother said justice has been a long time coming for her family.


“It was more of the emotion of finally having a face to put to the awful tragedy that we are living through. It was just very overwhelming to see him for the first time,” Raelyn Rowe said after Coleman's first appearance. “When we started this and had so few details, we really didn’t think we’d ever have a face to put with it, so it was just a shocking moment when we finally had a face to match what we were going through.”

Coleman's next court appearance is set for Aug. 17.

He has 12 previous felony convictions. In Oct. 20, 2010, Coleman was convicted of multiple burglaries and car thefts and sentenced to five years in prison. He served 3 ½ years on 11 charges and was released on Nov. 21, 2014.

Police said he robbed a woman at gunpoint for her purse in March 2015, hitting her in the face with a gun a block away from her house.

Felicia Ceaser, who lives nearby, said she was shocked to hear that the person who robbed her neighbor is accused of Rowe's murder.

"It's really sad. I'm a sensitive person. I cried. And it was really sad to hear that about him; that you can't even walk, you can't even go to work and stuff without someone attacking you," Ceaser said. "I am happy that they got him because he gets what he deserves."

Coleman was arrested Nov. 30, 2015, and charged with three counts of burglary after he was accused of burglarizing apartments in the Arlington area.

He was booked into jail on a $225,000 bond. On April 28, 2015, Coleman was charged with the March 2015 robbery and his bond was increased to $ 1 million.

Coleman hadn't been charged with Rowe's murder until Monday but has been sitting in jail since his Nov. 30, 2015, arrest. 

A tip from an inmate led police to investigate his connection to Rowe's death.

"It's horrifying to think he was out there. I have no word for it, other than it makes no sense to me, no sense to me that he was out walking the street to begin with. And if we were tougher on it, he never would have walked the streets and we would still have our son," Raelyn Rowe said. 

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director Tom Hackney said tips were key to breaking the case, but the investigation will not end until Coleman's accomplice is also in jail. 

"As I’ve stood up before you many times in cases, I say it’s that one little piece of the puzzle that we need," Hackney said. "And I ask for seemingly innocuous information to come forward, and in this case that one particular thing pointed us in the right direction."

The provider of the primary tip that led to this arrest will receive a $13,000 reward from Crime Stoppers, and a $3,000 reward is still available for tips leading to a second arrest. Callers can remain anonymous and still be eligible for the reward by calling 866-845-TIPS.