Ex-Cop Shot Man in Head but failed to Hide the Dead Body in Memphis; Indicted by Jury for several Federal Charges

Feds say that more than three years ago, an off-duty Memphis police officer took a man, shot him in the head, and tried to get rid of his body but failed.

Police say that on January 5, 2021, Patric J. Ferguson killed a man named R.H. and then dumped his body in the Wolf River in Memphis with the help of another man named Joshua M. Rogers. A jury gave an eight-count indictment against Ferguson on May 8, saying that he is now facing federal charges for civil rights violations, kidnapping, and weapons crimes.

Ferguson no longer works for the department. Police in Memphis say the guy they think he killed was Robert Howard, who died at the age of 30. Police say Ferguson and Howard knew each other. Rogers is charged with accessory after the fact because prosecutors say he tried to help Ferguson hide proof of the crime.

Prosecutors say that after Howard died, Rogers sold the car that was used to move his body to a company that buys junk metal. On May 9, an agent for Ferguson didn’t answer right away when McClatchy News called. There was no information known about Rogers’ lawyer in the federal case.

A news statement from the Memphis Police Department on January 10, 2021, says Howard’s girlfriend reported him missing on January 6, 2021. The last time she saw Howard was on Mark Twain Street around 5 p.m. on January 5, 2021, she told police.

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Howard was already dead when she told them. Police say Ferguson killed Howard after taking him from his home on Mark Twain Street while he was outside. Police say Ferguson just “did what he wanted” when he put Howard in his squad car, drove to a different street about a half mile away, and shot and killed him.

Police say Ferguson was caught before Howard’s body was found on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree murder in the commission of aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and making up and tampering with evidence.

He was “relieved of duty right away,” and cops say he had worked for the department since October 2018. Police said Rogers was friends with Ferguson. He was arrested on charges of being an accomplice after the fact, abusing a body, and making up evidence and tampering with it, according to the department.

On January 10, 2021, cops said they had found Howard’s body near the Wolf River bridge. There are 105 miles of river that run through Tennessee and northern Mississippi. Martha Garth, who was in charge of Howard’s estate, sued Ferguson in federal court in December 2021. The claim says Ferguson shot Howard while Howard was being held down in Ferguson’s police car.

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The lawsuit says Howard had three minor children. It is still in court and asks for a judgement against Ferguson as well as punitive and compensatory losses that don’t add up to $60,000. Police and prosecutors haven’t said why the homicide happened.

Authorities in Memphis, Tennessee, and the city’s police force worked together to look into the charges against Ferguson and Howard.