The state rested its case on Thursday in a murder trial 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 Thursday included Mary Barger of the Miami County Crime Lab, Dr. Keith Diaz of Columbia University Medical Center, Katherine Marker of Pleasant Hill, Clopay employee Michael Hartzell, Clopay Human Resources Supervisor Karen Monnier, Brian Mader and Darke County Detective Sergeant Chris Clark.
At Thursday’s hearing, the jury heard from Bowman’s former mistress Katherine Marker and former Darke County Jail inmate Brian Mader.
During her testimony, Marker told the jury that her relationship with Bowman began in the fall of 2019, after meeting Bowman at a horse show in 2014. Marker said her and Bowman would regularly see each other from Dec. 31, 2019 to nearly every weekend until April 2020.
On the Friday evening of Teresa’s death, Marker testified that she went to Bowman’s residence on Disher Road and spent the weekend with him and his family.
While at the residence, Marker told the jury she witnessed Bowman burning clothes in a fire pit. She then added that Bowman told her he burned the clothing he’s was wearing on Friday morning when he discovered his wife dead.
“I believe he was burning some old stuff in the house,” Marker said. “He said that when he tried to revive Teresa he had blood on his clothes. I said, ‘Oh, did the detectives take that as evidence?’ And he goes, ‘No, I burnt them.’ I’m like, ‘Why’d you burn your clothes? You could at least wash them.’ He said, ‘Well they were all bloody.’ So he burnt them. There was a wood-burning stove in the house as well.”
Later on, Mader testified that while he and Bowman were in the Darke County Jail together, Bowman admitted to hiding evidence from the authorities.
“He was talking about a two by four and how police missed it,” Mader said. “He was talking about the family, how when the family came over to mourn his wife how they all trampled through the blood and that the detectives and the police missed that crime scene. The two by four, he mentioned he put it in a stove and burned it with the clothes. I guess when the police searched the stove, I don’t even know what time of stove it was, but when they searched it I guess they had found some clothes burnt, whatever.”
Mader also mentioned to the jury that Bowman told him he tried to cover up a potential motive.
“He mentioned the [stimulus] check,” he said. “There was a card that had money on it. He used that as a way of saying, ‘Hey, this didn’t happen.’ He was talking about the money that was gonna come from her death and how he used, I guess there was a stimulus check loaded on the card, he used that to show police that, ‘Hey, money wasn’t an alibi here.’ He was in the jail talking about what he was going to get. And the new girlfriend, they just wanted a place of their own.”
Following Det. Sgt. Clark’s testimony, which followed Mader, the state rested its case.
Lastly, the defense began their case with a testimony from Dr. Stephen Mattingly, of University of Notre Dame.
Court will reconvene at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning. You can stream Darke County Common Pleas Court hearings on YouTube at https://tinyurl.com/commonpleas