SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, January 23, the SF District Attorney’s Office announced that two people were convicted in a fentanyl poising murder that transpired in February 2019. Gerald Rowe, 52, of San Francisco, was convicted after trial by jury for the brutal murder and torture of an acquaintance in his apartment. He was convicted of first-degree murder (PC 187(a)) with an allegation that the murder was intentional and involved the infliction of torture (PC 190.2(a)(18)) and the murder was intentional and by the administration of poison (PC 190.2(a)(19)) and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder (PC 182(a)(1)).
Angel Anderson, 41, a co-defendant in this case, separately pleaded guilty and was convicted of first-degree murder (PC 187(a)) by way of torture and poisoning.
As indicated in a press release from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, court testimony and other evidence presented at trial noted the victim visited Rowe and Anderson at Rowe’s apartment on the 1200 block of Market Street on February 3, 2019. It was at the location where Anderson confronted the victim with a machete before she and Rowe tied and bound him. A noose was placed around the victim’s neck with the attached rope tethered through a pulley device near the ceiling.
The victim’s hands were bound behind his back with zip ties, a strap, and duct tape. He was tortured for more than four hours in this position as he was screamed at, hit, punched, sodomized, assaulted with plyers, and a bag placed over his head. Rowe left the apartment to acquire fentanyl. Upon his return, he and Anderson injected the victim with a syringe full of a fentanyl and water mixture.
Within 90-seconds, the victim began to convulse and struggle to breathe. While still alive, the defendants folded the victim into a large rolling suitcase, before zipping it up and waited for him to die. Around 20-21 hours later, Rowe and Anderson donned disguises and rolled the suitcase almost two miles from the 1200 block of Market Street to a location of the Bay near Rincon Park where they tossed the victim’s body into the water. On February 18, 2019, the victim was found floating in the water near Pier 39 by a San Francisco resident.
The case against Rowe and Anderson was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Charly Weissenbach, with assistance from District Attorney Investigators Gino Guerrero, Omega Crum, and Doug Keely, paralegals Jessica Diamond and Julio Flores along with paralegal intern Joshua Ng, and IT support from Morris Moore, Leland Chan and Noaeh Pinaire. Victim advocate Maria Reynoso worked closely with the victim’s father throughout the pendency of the case. Prosecutors were able to develop a strong case against Mr. Rowe based on the careful investigative work of SFPD’s Homicide unit, with assistance from SFPD’s Narcotics unit.
“I am eternally grateful to the jury for their service along with their careful and considerate approach to what are some of the most egregious charges and horrific facts anyone should ever have to hear, let alone experience,” said Assistant District Attorney Charly Weissenbach. “While this conviction cannot undo the hours of torture and painful poisoning experienced by the victim, it does condemn the depravity of the defendant’s acts along with the inhumane way he handled the victim’s remains when he threw him into the Bay like garbage.”
Rowe is currently in custody pending sentencing. He faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole. His sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2024. Anderson is also currently in custody and will be sentenced to 25–years-to-life in state prison for her crimes on March 18, 2024.