A Windsor Township man will spend three to seven years in state prison after pleading no contest Wednesday to homicide by vehicle for the Nov. 26, 2010, crash that killed his brother.
Under the plea agreement, Robert Elwood Bowman Jr., 25, will serve up to six months concurrent for driving under the influence. Prosecutors agreed to drop seven other related charges, including careless driving and speeding.
Defense attorney Bill Graff said the incident was "unfortunate," and Bowman feels sorry for what he did.
"I told the court that there isn't a day that goes by that this young man doesn't punish himself for what happened," Graff said.
Killed in the crash was 19-year-old Tre Isaac Parker of Windsor Township, who had also been drinking. Prosecutors said Parker tried to drive that morning but was too intoxicated, so Bowman got behind the wheel of Parker's Toyota Tercel.
A plea deal reached earlier this month fell through after Bowman said he wasn't able to go through with it. The college student told Common Pleas Judge John S. Kennedy that he was unable to truthfully say that the alcohol, cocaine and marijuana in his system caused the crash, and he'd rather go to trial. Bowman's blood-alcohol level was 0.06 percent, lower than the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Again changing his position, Bowman said Wednesday he just wanted the ordeal to be over, Graff said.
Slick road? Bowman maintained the fatal crash was caused by bald tires and a slick road, though chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker said a full accident reconstruction determined the condition of the road wasn't a factor in the crash.
Police said Bowman was driving in the 1300 block of Witmer Road in Windsor Township about 4:30 a.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road and crashed into a utility pole.
The charge of homicide by vehicle while DUI comes with a three-year mandatory minimum sentence.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.