By Patrick Markey
A California jury has convicted a Dublin man of first-degree murder for fatally stabbing his wife after the couple argued over his drinking and his relations with a Las Vegas prostitute.
A jury deliberated for three days before finding Colman Bowers guilty of the pre-meditated murder of his wife, Georgina, at their Santa Clara home in February last year, police officials said.
Without his family in the courtroom, Bowers showed little emotion as the verdict was delivered last Monday. On Thursday, the jury is scheduled to hear evidence from mental health experts as Bowers’s defense team presents an insanity plea before the judge decides his sentence.
Under California law, Bowers could face life in prison for the first-degree murder conviction. But a successful insanity plea could send him to an institution for the criminally insane.
During the three-week trial, prosecutors portrayed Bowers as a troubled man who ran up huge debts during gambling junkets to Las Vegas casinos and in maintaining a relationship with a prostitute in the city.
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His defense lined up an array of mental-health testimony to show that Bowers had suffered from a manic episode and was not in control when he stabbed his wife once in the chest. They did not deny Bowers killed her.
The jury was presented with evidence that on the day of the murder, Bowers had stepped outside the family home to smoke a few cigarettes and drink a half a beer before picking up a knife from the kitchen on the way to the couple’s bedroom.
One Santa Clara law-enforcement official said they have dismissed the insanity plea because Bowers had shown little remorse. The official said Bowers had sent flowers to the Las Vegas prostitute two months after his arrest.
"He never thought about Georgina, He never seemed to care about his children," the official said.
Bowers, a computer company vice president, moved to the U.S. from Ireland more than 10 years ago to work in Silicon Valley. He was arrested on Feb. 7 last year after police were called to his middle-class residence about 60 miles from San Francisco, where he lived with his wife and three children.
On the day of the murder after the family ate Sunday dinner, Bowers had called his two adult sons on a cellular phone to tell them there was emergency at the house. The two sons later found their mother’s body in a back bedroom.