NC appeals court sides with killer's release claim - WRBL

NC appeals court sides with killer's release claim

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A North Carolina appeals court panel ruled Tuesday a convicted killer serving a life sentence was properly credited for good conduct behind bars and scheduled for early release, and that the state's prison system couldn't reverse itself in reaction to a public uproar.

The state Court of Appeals panel ruled 3-0 that the case of convicted killer Bobby E. Bowden of Fayetteville is different from the facts in another case in which the state Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that a life sentence should last for a prisoner's life.

The appeals court agreed with a Cumberland County judge who last year ordered that Bowden, 64, should be released because he served his time under old sentencing guidelines. A 1970s state law said a life sentence meant 80 years, which the state Supreme Court confirmed in a 2009 ruling.

The appeals court agreed with Bowden's attorneys that he accrued credits shaving time off that 80-year sentence, that prison officials calculated a 2009 release date for Bowden, and that officials later reversed themselves after a public outcry that more than two dozen convicted killers and rapists faced potential release. Dozens more could have become eligible in the months and years to come.

Gov. Beverly Perdue stopped their release because she said the violent criminals weren't eligible to receive good behavior credits, and that the credits were counted only to improve an inmate's chance at parole. The state Supreme Court largely accepted that argument in 2010, ruling that life sentences mean the life of the prisoner and that two convicted killers should continue serving their sentences.

But the appeals court said Tuesday that Bowden's case was different because the state Department of Correction acknowledged counting the credits he earned and told Bowden he would be released on Oct. 29, 2009.

Bowden "prepared for that release, and the DOC prepared for that release," Judge Wanda Bryant, wrote for the court. "The DOC's subsequent act of revoking defendant's sentence reduction credits violated his due process rights."

The decision will be appealed to the state Supreme Court, said Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Jane Allen, an attorney who handled Bowden's case for the state appellate defender's office, said in an email that she would not seek Bowden's release before all court appeals are concluded. Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks last year ordered that Bowden remain imprisoned until the appeals process is complete. Bowden is being held at Tillery Correctional Center in Halifax County.

Bowden was convicted of killing a clerk at a convenience store and a woman who walked in on the robbery when she went to the store to buy milk and bread.

RELATED STORIES

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Teen mom charged after baby found buried at Louisburg home

    Teen mom charged after baby found buried at Louisburg home

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:44:25 GMT
    Ashley Reed, 16, of Louisburg is charged with concealing a death after her infant was found buried beside her house.
    Ashley Reed, 16, of Louisburg is charged with concealing a death after her infant was found buried beside her house.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.