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State witnesses were called in a murder trial on Wednesday 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, stood trial today on one count of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, for allegedly strangling his wife Teresa E. Bowman, 60, to death on April 24, 2020. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
Authorities were called to the Bowman’s home, on Disher Road, on the day of the incident, where they found Teresa Bowman dead in a barn on the property. A forensic exam later determined she died from strangulation.
The state alleged that Bowman planned his wife’s murder in order to be with his mistress and collect Bowman’s life insurance policies.
While Bowman’s defense claimed 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. Pendl told the jury in his opening statement that law enforcement didn’t pursue other suspects with the same aggression they did Bowman.
State witnesses called on Wednesday included Darke County Detective Doug Didier, Darke County Detective Rachel Prickett, Quality Inn employee Melissa Jordan and Miami Valley Crime Lab Latent Print Examiner Jennifer Yoak.
The majority of Wednesday was spent watching and discussing a two hour interview that was done on April 26, 2020, between Bowman, Detective Prickett and Darke County Detective Sergeant Chris Clark.
In the interview, Bowman told detectives that over the course of his marriage he had multiple girlfriends and an affair in 2011, and that his wife was aware of the infidelity.
Later on in the interview, the detectives confronted Bowman on several discrepancies in his alibi.
Bowman initially told investigators that he was away running errands in Mercer County for two hours at the Dollar General in Ft. Recovery, Big K Mills in Ft. Recovery, Niekamp Farm Market in St. Henry, Moeller Door & Window in St. Henry, Egbert Livestock in St. Henry and Birts Store in New Weston. Detective Didier testified on Wednesday that after checking video surveillance, Bowman only appeared on camera at the Dollar General in Ft. Recovery.
After confronted by Detective Prickett and Detective Sgt. Clark, Bowman later admitted in the interview that he only visited the Dollar General in Ft. Recovery, and that he lied about the other errands because he was afraid detectives would suspect he killed his wife.
Detective Didier told the court that after he analyzed video surveillance, he drove the route from the Bowman residence on Disher Road to the Dollar General. He testified that the trip took eight minutes one way.
At the start of the interview, Bowman told Detective Prickett and Detective Sgt. Clark that he had consumed a few beers prior to the interview.
During cross examination, Pendl implied to Detective Prickett that Bowman was intoxicated at the time of the two hour interview, which he added can cause forgetfulness and a lack of understanding, and Detective Prickett agreed that it was possible.
Court will reconvene at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. You can stream Darke County Common Pleas Court hearings on YouTube at https://tinyurl.com/commonpleas
Abigail Miller is a Greenville native, Kent State graduate, writer, crocheter, shopaholic and friend.
Contact Darke County Now Reporter Abigail Miller at email@example.com.