Viola Bowman Missouri woman sentenced to life prison for staging break in and murdering husband. Had rejected plea deal that would have set her free.
‘I did not do it.’ A Missouri woman has been sentenced to life in prison for staging fake break in & murdering her husband in Kansas City nine years ago.
Viola Bowman, who rejected an earlier plea deal that would have freed her, was sentenced by Judge Shane T. Alexander after being found guilty at trial of first-degree murder and armed criminal action three weeks ago.
Her husband, Albert ‘Rusty’ Bowman, was shot and killed in what prosecutors contend was ‘a cold and calculating murder,’ in a bid to collect on an insurance payout on the man’s death.
Bowman appearing in court for sentencing on Wednesday, continued to maintain that she was innocent. Leading into trial, the woman insisted she was innocent, and had rejected a deal that would have spared her jail time and given her credit for time served if she pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
A Clay County jury in September found Bowman guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action according to the Kansas City Star.
‘I did not murder my husband,’
During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Robert Lee Sanders recommended that Judge Alexander put Bowman behind bars for life, reportedly describing her as ‘a cold, calculating manipulator’ and telling the court her husband ‘deserves no less for justice.’
Given a chance to address the courtroom, Bowman reportedly continued to profess her innocence.
‘I did not murder my husband,’ she told Judge Alexander, then turned around to address two of her daughters who had attended the proceeding.
‘I’m sorry you lost your father. I suffer every day without your father here,’ she reportedly said.
Officers with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department on the evening of Nov. 7, 2012 responded to a 911 call from Bowman who reported a shooting at the couple’s Northland home located in the 5500 block of N.E. Munger Road. First-responders arrived at the scene and reportedly found Rusty covered in blood, his body still sitting in his reclining armchair. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bowman told investigators that an unknown person had broken into the home and shot her husband twice, KTVI reported.
Following a protracted investigation, detectives reportedly said the evidence indicated that a break-in had not occurred. They concluded that Bowman shot her husband twice—once in the head and once in the chest—then staged the crime scene.
Defendant benefited from life insurance policy after shooting death
During her criminal trial, prosecutors argued that emergency medical personnel who responded to Bowman’s home said her demeanor in the aftermath of her husband’s death was ‘odd,’ and investigators reportedly noted multiple inconsistencies with her statements about the alleged robbery.
‘They noted that items like a laptop, car keys and a wallet were not stolen from the home,’ the Star reported. ‘Prosecutors also contended that Bowman benefited from a life insurance policy in the wake of her husband’s death.’
Bowman’s defense attorney, Horton J. Lance of the public defender’s office, argued that the defendant loved her husband and contended that she was at Walmart when the shooting took place.
Lance reportedly also asked Judge Alexander to order a new trial, arguing that the jury made ‘a tragic mistake’ by returning a guilty verdict against Bowman. The motion was denied, with Judge Alexander reportedly saying the court was convinced of Bowman’s guilt.
Following Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Lance said he planned on filing an appeal in the case.
‘We hope to prove in the end that she truly is innocent,’ he reportedly said of his client.