NC Supreme Court to decide whether convicted killer should be freed
Posted April 15
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday about whether a Fayetteville man should be freed more than 30 years after he was convicted of killing two people.
In August, the state Court of Appeals upheld a Superior Court judge’s ruling that Bobby E. Bowden, 64, be released from prison under the state’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, the old prison guidelines allowed prisoners to earn credit toward their release for good behavior.
Bowden's lawyers argued that he should be released with no conditions. State attorneys have argued that the previous law is ambiguous and that Bowden should not be released because he was repeatedly denied parole in the past.