Wolf Point Herald

Bowen Sentenced To 20 Years In Montana State Prison


Charles Bowman Bowen was sentenced to 20 years at Montana Department of Corrections with credit for time served (656 days) at his appearance in Montana 15th Judicial Court Nov. 13 after being convicted of negligent homicide.

Bowen, of Florida, was arrested Jan. 11, 2012, for negligent homicide for the death of Brian Doyle, also of Florida. Doyle’s body was found in the ditch along U.S. Hwy. 2, near Bainville Jan. 20, 2012. Reports said Doyle died nine days earlier from exposure and injuries from being run over by a motor vehicle.

On Jan. 27, an arrest warrant was issued, charging Bowen with negligent homicide. Bowen was arrested that day by the Williams County Sheriff’s Office in Williston, N.D., area.

During the sentencing, the state presented the presentence investigation report. The defense asked questions regarding the details and accuracy of the criminal history on the report. The PSI recommended that Bowen serve the maximum sentence of 20 years.

The victim’s sister, Erin Groom, his brother, Thomas Doyle, and significant other, Victoria Amberson,  gave statements, detailing how the loss of Doyle impacted their lives and asking the defendant why he chose not to go back and help him.

After they finished their statements, the defense brought Richard Peck, criminal investigator for the public defender’s office, to the witness stand. Peck, who conducted his own presentence investigation for the public defender’s office, said he contacted all the counties in Florida to obtain accurate details of Bowen’s criminal history.

After a break, Judge David Cybulski allowed Bowen to give a statement. The defendant gave his condolences to the victim’s family and said he had wanted to give Doyle help by inviting him come to work in the oil field. Bowen also intends to get his G.E.D., complete his ministry education and help his teenage son through high school.

The prosecution agreed with the PSI’s recommendation of Bowen serving 20 years in Montana State Prison. The defense said the sentence should not be based on emotion, but rather on the defendant, the criminal history and the circumstances. The defense also mentioned they do not believe the criminal record in the state’s PSI report is correct and should not be taken into consideration.

Cybulski said he saw no alternatives to prison and handed down the sentence. In addition to his sentence, Bowen will pay a fine of $50,000. The credit for time served will not go toward the fine.