Local News

NC Supreme Court delays convicted killer's release

Posted September 10, 2013

Bobby Bowden

— The North Carolina Supreme Court has delayed the release of a Fayetteville man convicted of killing two people, pending an appeal of a ruling that he be set free.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals last month upheld a Superior Court judge's ruling that Bobby E. Bowden, 64, be released from prison under North Carolina's old sentencing guidelines, which stated that a life sentence equated to 80 years in prison.

Bowden is serving two concurrent life sentences for the Aug. 7, 1975, shootings at a convenience store. He was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery on Dec. 15, 1975.

Before the state's Fair Sentencing Act, which took effect in 1994, guidelines allowed prisoners to earn credit toward their release for good behavior. Bowden's lawyers argued that he should be released with no conditions.

Bowden was set to be released Monday, but the state Attorney General's Office requested a stay of the appellate court ruling to give state officials time to appeal the ruling.

A filing by the Attorney General's Office argues that the Supreme Court should review the case because the Court of Appeals decision could impact the cases of other inmates serving life sentences imposed under the old guidelines and "would represent an unprecedented departure" from state policy of releasing life inmates only upon recommendation of the state Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission. The commission has repeatedly denied Bowden's parole requests, according to the filing.


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  • Miss Dee Sep 11, 2013

    He had two life sentences. Eighty plus eighty is one hundred and sixty. He has only served one life sentence.


    It says the sentences were concurrent, meaning they're served at the same time, so 80 years. If they were consecutive, it would be 160.

  • Lightfoot3 Sep 11, 2013

    They should have hung him from a rope years ago.

  • lwe1967 Sep 10, 2013

    He had two life sentences. Eighty plus eighty is one hundred and sixty. He has only served one life sentence.

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Sep 10, 2013

    If a life sentence equated to life we wouldn't even be wasting time and money arguing for this murderer's release or captivity. Sentenced to do life? When we're born there's no number put on our life. Who's smart enough to put a number on it? No one! Good riddance for LIFE. The people you killed didn't get eighty years on a piece of paper, they got killed. Pay your price and do it quietly

  • Damien Thorned Sep 10, 2013

    So people are ok with someone being sentenced one way, then changing it when they are almost done with it?

    That is like getting weekends for drunk driving, then the state not letting you out cause they feel a few more weeks would do you good.

    Different cases yes, however same scenario.

  • cwilliams27801 Sep 10, 2013

    When he was sentenced the state would cut your time in half. So her was only working on 40 yrs. And by law, he has maxed a 40 yr sentenced out.

  • zile1porkey Sep 10, 2013

    He served his time he should be free to go Bev Perdue tried this similar task and didn't win he killed didn't get the chair so our justice system should follow the law. And why let a person out of prison who has killed because the law states so.

  • ncouterbanks69 Sep 10, 2013

    Why in the world would you let a person who killed TWO people out of jail ever? If we are going to be weak and not use the death penalty (thanks libs) then at least make this criminal spend his life behind bars. Why would you endanger those of us who obey the law? Our weak and liberal "justice" system is a large part of the downfall of this country.

  • raleighboy524 Sep 10, 2013

    GOP hates Democrat Cooper, who is opposing this man's releae, ergo GOP favors the release. Just that simple these days in NC.

  • woodrock223 Sep 10, 2013

    "So if the guidelines under which he was sentenced say life = 80 years then he should NOT GET OUT UNTIL 2055!!! THAT would be 80 years, not the mere 38 he has served."

    and he was given TWO life sentences, he should at least have another 38 years if he was able to work off 42 years with "good behavior".