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City man gets life sentence for fatal beating of girlfriend

August 31st, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports Kevin Ray Bowers was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday in Allegany County Circuit Court for killing Jasmine Nikole Rannells, his 32-year-old girlfriend, in February at the couple's Oldtown Road residence.

The sentence was imposed by Judge Jeffrey Getty after Bowers, 44, entered an Alford plea.

An Alford plea is one in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges prosecutors have sufficient evidence for a conviction.

 

“I apologize to everyone who has had to endure this, to Jasmine's mom and dad, especially her dad, and to my own mom and dad, to everyone who has had to endure this,” said Bowers when given opportunity to address the court.

“What has happened, has happened. I think our two little girls lost the most …”

A spectator in the court interrupted, yelling "because of you."

“Because of me," Bowers continued. "I am sorry, I am sorry,” he said as he turned to those in the courtroom.

Bowers' apology followed a 45-minute victim impact statement made to the court by the victim's mother, Brenda Kay Dean.

“On February 11, two Cumberland Police officers came to my door and I opened it up and told them 'he finally killed her,'" said Dean. "I already knew. I told the officer I know my daughter is dead. … Domestic violence went on in that house for a long time."

Bowers kept his head angled down toward the defense table as Dean described the pain that she and her family has experienced since Rannells' fatal beating.

“I am devastated. My whole family is devastated. All I have is a box of ashes, her stuffed animals, photographs," Dean said. “I can't hug Jasmine any more. I can't kiss her. I can't buy her frogs. I bought her stuffed animal frogs all the time. What I got now is a box of ashes on my counter."

 

Dean's testimony was interrupted occasionally by defense attorney James E. Malone, who objected to Dean's mentioning of things in the past between Bowers and Rannells.

“I'm talking about things that led up to this,” said Dean as she held Rannells' stuffed animal.

She also spoke about identifying her daughter's body. “That's the last memory I have of my daughter," Dean said.

 

Autopsy determined Rannells died from multiple blunt force injuries.

"This act was brutal, savage and it was callous and resulted in the death of someone who was blameless,” the judge said before imposing the sentence.

Getty also cited seven domestic assault convictions in Bowers' criminal history and that the statement of facts and evidence left no room for consideration of a sentence less than life as recommended by the state.

Bowers kept his head down as he was escorted from the courtroom by correctional officers of the Allegany County Sheriff's Office.

He was taken to the county detention center before being placed in the custody of the Division of Correction to begin serving his life sentence.

In his comments, Twigg told the court that Bowers had not made an expression of remorse since the killing.

“I am personally delighted with the fact that Mr. Bowers will spend the rest of his life in prison," Twigg said following the hearing, which lasted a little more than an hour. “As far as Mr. Bowers is concerned, I consider him a coward. A coward because of his history of beating on women and a coward because, when faced with evidence of guilt in this matter, he still didn't fully accept responsibility."

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