Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Hung jury in Bowman murder trial

Juror reports 10-2 vote to convict


Robert Bowman (center), who was charged with first degree murder in the death of Eileen Adams, reacts in a Lucas County Common Pleas courtroom after hearing the jury in his trial was deadlocked.

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After about 12 hours of deliberations — and a night spent sequestered — a Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury was released Tuesday after after being unable to reach a verdict in the murder trial of Robert Bowman.

Bowman, 75, is charged with murder in the first degree for the 1967 slaying of Eileen Adams. The 14-year-old Sylvania Township girl was last seen Dec. 18, 1967, on her way from school to her sister’s West Toledo home.

Her body was found Jan. 30, 1968, in a Monroe County field.

Jurors declined to comment as they were escorted out of the courthouse by security officers. One juror, who would not give her name, said that the indecision came down to a 10-2 vote with the majority voting to convict.

A gag order has been issued in the case preventing attorneys from discussing the previous trial or any future plans. Judge Gene Zmuda set an Aug. 29 pretrial.

Bowman remains charged with murder in the first degree and was returned to the jail after the mistrial was declared. If convicted on the charge, he faces up to life in prison.

Seventeen witnesses testified over seven days during the trial, including one for the defense. Bowman did not testify on his own behalf.

During closing arguments Monday, assistant prosecutors outlined the witness testimony, including statements made by Bowman’s ex-wife, Margaret.

Ms. Bowman testified that she found a teenage girl tied up in her basement in her home on West Sylvania Avenue. She further testified that her enraged husband told her he would have to kill the captive now that she had been discovered.

The defense noted that despite Ms. Bowman coming forward in 1981 — 14 years after the crime — investigators interviewed but did not arrest Bowman. Attorney Pete Rost challenged Ms. Bowman’s credibility and asked jurors to be wary of deciding the case on sympathy.

Several experts testified during the trial about DNA found on the victim’s clothing. A semen stain was discovered in the victim’s underwear that was linked to Bowman. According to testimony at the trial, the random likelihood that the DNA would be found in the general population was 1 in 4.15 million.

The jury was made up of nine women, three men, and four alternates.

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