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June 21, 2018 • Headline News
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Judge gives near max sentence to Bowman

Wanda English Burnett

Forty-one years. That’s the amount of time Ripley County Circuit Court Judge Ryan King sentenced 50-year-old Timothy Bowman to after a night of “bad choices” were made by Bowman. Bowman got 39 years for the Attempted Murder charge; 9 months on the Pointing a Firearm charge and 9 months on the Domestic Battery charge. He was sentenced to one year suspended for Invasion of Privacy.

The Judge went on to say Bowman had destroyed his entire family. “He took a bad situation and made it a lot worse.”
The situation Judge King was referring to was the night of October 28, 2016, when Bowman attempted to murder police officers who had been called to the home near Holton for a domestic dispute.

One row in the courtroom was filled with members of Bowman’s family and directly behind them, some of the officers who were involved in the incident were seated.

Two of Bowman’s aunts and an uncle testified at the sentencing held Tuesday, June 19, that he wasn’t a bad man, but had been depressed since his son was killed in an auto accident five years prior. They said he needed help, not prison.

Prosecutor Ric Hertel said he didn’t know how his relatives that testified knew much about Bowman, since they didn’t see him but once or twice a year, according to their own testimony. He further stated that Bowman has no remorse and no acceptance of responsibility for what he has done. The prosecutor spoke on behalf of the officers whose lives were endangered that night. He said evidence showed that six inches of a truck separated one officer’s head from the bullets Bowman shot.

The prosecutor also read a letter written by Bowman’s ex-wife, Pat Bowman, who was very much a victim the night of the event, along with some of her children. The letter read in part, “We plead with the court to have mercy on our family so we can live fear free”. The Judge said the letter she wrote was very insightful to him as he made his decision on the number of years Bowman would receive.

In Pat Bowman’s letter she said she had been told that “Tim has changed.” However, when she read a letter to the editor written by Bowman and published in The Versailles Republican a couple of weeks ago, she knew he had not changed. She said he thinks he can get out of jail and go home. “We still fear for our lives.” She is now divorced from Bowman and said, “We are financially still pulling ourselves together.”

Bowman held fast to the story that he wasn’t the same after he lost his son in a tragic accident. He said, as did other family members, that he was depressed. But, he also admitted he wouldn’t get help for the situation. He testified at his sentencing that he was sorry for everything and said he apologized from the bottom of his heart.

The prosecutor said the whole family had suffered the traumatic loss of Bowman’s son, Curtis. He said that if Bowman wouldn’t get help before, what chance is there now of him getting help? The Judge said he felt Bowman was perhaps remorseful in court on Tuesday because he was facing jail time, maybe because a jury convicted him, or that it cost him his family. He said he didn’t give much weight to the remorse expressed by Bowman.

The State argued for the maximum sentence of 43 years, citing the facts of the case that included emotional and mental harm inflicted on the victims. He also cited Bowman’s lack of remorse, that the victims were police officers, and that a person under the age of 18 could have heard or seen the crime. All were aggravating factors.

Prosecutor Hertel said, “Many times police officers come into contact with people who are at their worst and difficult to deal with.” He encouraged the public to reach out the next time they cross paths with a police officer and shake their hand and thank them for what they do. He said, “These men and women protect and uphold our laws, but they also risk their lives so that our families can be safe. They aren’t recognized enough, but in this case someone tried to take their lives and it became even more clear how dangerous their job can be.”

At the end of the sentencing, Mark Jones, attorney for Bowman, asked on behalf of his client for the appointment of appellate counsel, meaning, Bowman intends to file an appeal.

Editor’s Note: The Ripley Publishing Co. Inc. has been following this case from the beginning and will continue to bring updates as they occur. The local newspaper was the only media in the courtroom on Tuesday, June 19.

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