Man sentenced in 1990 Cooper-Young cold case killing

Stanley Owens

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A career criminal was sentenced to prison Wednesday, more than 27 years after he took the life of a Cooper-Young liquor store owner.

Stanley Owens, 61, was sentenced to 15 years with no parole in the 1990 shooting death of Edward Askew, District Attorney Amy Weirich said. Owens had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the case last month.

Askew, 47, was shot to death on Feb. 9, 1990, when a robber came in to the Kay-T-Did Liquor Store at 2231 Central Ave. and demanded money. During a struggle, Owens was shot in the thigh and was seen limping out of the store to a getaway car.

The case was never solved, but three years ago Memphis police received a call from a federal prison inmate in Alabama who provided accurate details of the crime that were never made public. He also identified Owens as the gunman in the holdup.

The caller said Owens was shot in the thigh during the holdup, but never went to the hospital for fear of being reported to police. Instead, the caller said, Owens treated his wound at a private home after the shooting.

When police Cold Case officers located Owens, he showed them a gunshot wound on his thigh, but said he was shot by a drug dealer and not in a holdup. A witness from the holdup identified Owens as the gunman in a photo lineup 24 years later, and again in last month’s trial.

Criminal Court Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett denied Owens’ motion for a new trial.