Bowman murder trial begins with opening statements

With the jury selected, opening statements were made in a murder trial on Monday morning in Darke County Common Pleas Court. Judge Jonathan P. Hein presided, with Darke County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby and Bowman’s attorney Alex Pendl present.

Richard M. Bowman, 59, of New Weston, appeared in court today on one count of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, for allegedly strangling his wife Teresa E. Bowman, 60, to death in April 2020. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

The Darke County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Bowman’s home, on Disher Road, on April 2020, where they found Teresa Bowman dead in a barn on the property. A forensic exam later determined she died from strangulation.

Prosecutor Ormsby alleged in his opening statement that Bowman planned his wife’s murder in order to be with his mistress and collect Bowman’s life insurance policies. He told the jury they will need to ask themselves four questions throughout the trial.

“One: Why did the defendant tell his girlfriend Katie Marker to plan to come over around 11 a.m. on Friday, April 24 when he and Teresa were both scheduled to work that day?” Ormsby asked. “Then he delayed Katie saying he’d just remembered he had a doctor’s appointment at 11 a.m. that day. Second: Why did he tell Katie Marker that he had vacations at Clopay for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when he had no vacation build up? Third: Why did he tell Katie Marker to just plan to come up every weekend from then on? Fourth: Why did he try to set up an alibi that he’d been gone for two hours, that he told every first-responder that showed up, this alibi that he later admitted was false, before anybody knew that a murder had been committed and nobody had accused him of anything?”

Pendl responded in his opening statement by alleging that after Bowman arrived home from running errands, he found his wife dead in the barn, called 911 and performed CPR while he waited for paramedics. He told the jury that law enforcement didn’t pursue other suspects with the same aggression they did Bowman. Due to this, Pendl told the jury that the state can’t prove without a reasonable doubt that Bowman is guilty.

“The question before you as the jury is not, ‘Who killed Teresa Bowman?'” Pendl said. “The question is did the state prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that Richard, and no one else, was responsible the death? Once you consider all the evidence, you will have a lot of questions about what happened that morning, that will establish reasonable doubt, and we ask that you find Richard not guilty.”

Court will reconvene at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. You can stream Darke County Common Pleas Court hearings on YouTube at https://tinyurl.com/commonpleas

Bowman

Abigail Miller / Editor

Abigail Miller is a Greenville native, Kent State graduate, writer, crocheter, shopaholic and friend. Contact Darke County Now Reporter Abigail Miller at amiller@darkecountynow.com.

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