Category: Archive

Lawyers pin murder on squabbles in computer exec’s trial

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

California prosecutors have charged that an Irish computer executive stabbed his wife to death in their Santa Clara home because they had argued over his drinking, gambling habits and his philandering with a Las Vegas prostitute.

Deputy District Attorney Terry Bowman told a Santa Clara County Superior Court jury last week that Dublin man Colman Bowers fatally stabbed Georgina Bowers in cold blood because of the couple’s domestic squabbles.

While not denying Bowers killed his wife, the defendant’s attorney has sketched out an insanity plea portraying him as a man grappling with mental anguish when he launched his fatal attack in the couple’s bedroom in February 1999.

During the trial, which started last week, testimony has shifted from the emotional ties of family and a confessional 911 call to the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas casino nightlife.

Two sons have taken the stand to recount household fights and describe finding their mother’s naked body while a Las Vegas prostitute has provided detailed accounts of her romps with Bowers and another professional entertainer.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

Bowers, an executive vice president at a Silicon Valley company, was arrested for stabbing his wife on Feb. 7 last year after police were called to his middle-class residence about 60 miles from San Francisco.

On the day of the murder after the family’s Sunday lunch, police said Bowers 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 naked body in a back bedroom with a single stab wound to the chest. Their father stood outside smoking a cigarette waiting for the police, the court heard.

The family had moved to the U.S. 12 years ago after Bowers secured a lucrative post as an executive vice president at a Silicon Valley computer firm. But, prosecutors charge, the family life began to slide as the couple argued over his drinking and gambling in Las Vegas. Georgina had contemplated returning to Ireland before she was killed.

Prosecutors also allege Bowers had become involved with a known prostitute during his gambling junkets to the casino resort and had built up more than $30,000 in debts maintaining his relations with her.

But the defense claims that Bowers was mentally impaired when he stabbed his wife. His attorney, Kleigh Hathaway, argued that Bowers suffered from manic depression and could not stop his own actions. Bowers pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charges.

In court last week, police played a tape recording of Bowers’s emergency call during which he admitted killing his wife while his 10-year-old daughter is heard crying in the background.

The prosecution also flew two Las Vegas prostitutes in to testify about their relations with the defendant.

Police said during preliminary testimony before the trial, one of the girls testified for six hours about their relationship, providing details about drinking, dancing and gambling with Bowers.

Prostitute testimony

Witness Rosiland Wilks, who is 32 and described herself as a personal entertainer, told the court that Bowers also helped pay for her rent on a Las Vegas apartment. She said she spoke with him on the telephone almost every other day, just to chat or hear one of his jokes. Prosecutors said Bowers had also called Wilks on the day of the murder.

He also flew Wilks to San Jose twice, once telling his wife he was going to a Rolling Stones concert, but instead went to a hotel with his girlfriend, the court heard.

The prosecution also called on Dr. Mark Davidow, a psychiatrist, to testify about treating Bowers and talk about his mental condition. The doctor said he had placed Bowers on a mood-stabilizing drug Kaolopin, which helped his client. Davidow also said he had last seen Bowers just over a week before the murder, and he had seemed fine.

The trial is set to continue for about two weeks.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese