- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Jury selection began Tuesday morning for the murder trial of a Laurel man charged in a St. Inigoes shooting, a case that already has led to one conviction and to charges against a third suspect.
Andre Lionel Bowman, 31, also is charged with burglary and robbery offenses in the attack last February on 37-year-old Robert Lee McDowney Sr. at his home off Beachville Road.
Before prospective jurors were brought into a courtroom for Bowman’s trial, his lawyer and a prosecutor told a judge that plea negotiations in the case had produced no agreement.
Last month, jurors convicted James Kenneth Clay Jr., 36, of felony murder in the case. Joseph William Medley III, a 30-year-old Great Mills resident, also is scheduled to face trial in November.
During Clay’s trial, McDowney’s girlfriend identified Clay as one of two armed intruders who came into the residence demanding money, and said that she heard a “pop” noise as the other culprit, wearing a mask, chased her into a bedroom while demanding money.
Alisha Marshall, 26, testified at Clay’s trial that the masked man found about $700 in collected rent money in a bedroom closet and some crack cocaine, and that after the two intruders left, she went to a neighbor’s home to call for help for her wounded boyfriend.
St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R) contended during Clay’s trial that Clay and Bowman, identified by the prosecutor as the masked intruder, got a ride to St. Mary’s and eventually the trailer in a car driven by Oshia M. Lewis of Hyattsville. Lewis has not been charged in the case, and the prosecutor said she learned of the robbery scheme only after the group arrived in the county.
At a pretrial hearing last week, Fritz said that Bowman acknowledged to police that Lewis gave him a ride to St. Mary’s on the night of the homicide, and that Bowman also claimed that someone robbed him of his cellphone. Fritz said during the hearing that Bowman’s cellphone was recovered at the scene of the crime, and that Bowman later used Lewis’ cellphone to change the outgoing voice mail message on his missing phone.
St. Mary’s Circuit Judge David W. Densford ruled Monday that Bowman’s statement to police after his arrest would not be suppressed, in that a transcript indicates Bowman told police that he understood his rights, twice noted that he did not have a lawyer and ultimately said “I’ll talk to you.”
On Tuesday morning, Fritz told the judge that Bowman had rejected a proposed agreement that he plead guilty to first-degree felony murder and be sentenced to life in prison, but not life without the possibility of parole.
Franklin Olmsted, Bowman’s lawyer, said in court that prosecutors likewise rejected a proposal that his client plead guilty to second-degree murder.
Fritz said in court that the prosecution’s case would include recordings and transcripts of phone calls made by Bowman, and a video of Bowman talking to Medley while Medley’s car and Lewis’ car were parked outside a convenience store in Lexington Park, before the shooting in St. Inigoes.