Former MPD officer accused of killing man, dumping body in river faces federal charges

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis police officer is facing several federal charges in connection to the fatal kidnapping and killing of a man in 2021.

Three years ago, Patric Ferguson was charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of 30-year-old Robert Howard.

Memphis Police officer charged with murder, kidnapping in man’s death

Another man, Joshua Rogers, was also charged with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in this case.

Wednesday, a federal grand jury in Memphis returned an eight-count indictment charging Ferguson with federal civil rights, kidnapping, and weapons offenses in connection with Howard’s death.

The indictment also charges Ferguson and Rogers with federal offenses for conspiring to cover up the fatal shooting and destroying evidence of the crimes. The indictment further charges Rogers with accessory after the fact for helping Ferguson cover up his crimes.

The indictment alleges that, on or about Jan. 5, 2021, Ferguson, while on duty as a Memphis Police Department officer, kidnapped and shot Howard in the head.

Ex-MPD officer accused of kidnapping, murder posts bond after 2 years

Ferguson then allegedly conspired with Rogers to cover up the fatal shooting by throwing Howard’s body in the Wolf River in Memphis. The indictment also alleges that Rogers disposed of the car used to transport Howard’s body by selling the car at a scrap metal dealership.

Memphis Police say Ferguson kidnapped Howard from his home, forced him into his squad car, and drove to Frayser Boulevard and Denver Street, where he killed Howard.

In 2021, Howard’s older brother told WREG his family believed Ferguson killed his brother over a woman. Kortez Howard said at the time of his death, his brother was dating a woman who used to be in a relationship with Ferguson.

Family of man allegedly kidnapped and murdered by MPD officer speaks out

“I would never think a police officer would kill my brother over something. Over just a little thing, a female,” Howard said.

Kortez Howard said his brother was originally from Osceola, Arkansas, and a father of three.

“This is a prime example of good people being taken away from their families for no reason. My brother has never did nothing wrong to nobody,” he said.

Howard’s body was later found in the area of Second Street and the Wolf River bridge.

In June of 2023, Ferguson was released from jail on a $400,000 bond.

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