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Jury Convicts Man Who Claimed Meth Binge Left Him with No Memory of Crimes

A Kenton County jury recommended 35 years in prison for a five-time felon convicted of first degree robbery, receiving stolen property worth more than $500, and first degree persistent felony offender.
Justin Raymond Bowlin, 37, was arrested by Kentucky State Police on January 12, 2017 in Henry County after leading a trooper on a high-speed chase for fifteen miles.
After stopping Bowlin, troopers noticed blood on the driver's side doors and windows. They learned that the car had been stolen earlier that day in Covington. But that wasn't the only vehicle he had stolen.
At trial, which lasted four days last week, prosecutors presented evidence that Bowlin lost control of another stolen vehicle and crashed it into a utility pole in Independence. A woman stopped to help and Bowlin reportedly asked her how long before the police showed up. At that point, he jumped in the passenger seat of a car driven by a young mother who had her daughter with her. The mother thought Bowlin needed help, but said she became scared when Bowlin said he had a gun.
She stopped the car and asked him to get out, but he began punching her in the face as she struggled to remove her seat belt to jump out of the car. Once she got out, Bowlin climbed to the driver's seat and ran over the mother's feet as she pulled her daughter to safety.
Independence Police found the first car with a trunk full of power tools taken from a store in Fort Thomas earlier in the day. The tools were valued at more than $2,000.
Bowlin took the stand in his own defense and claimed that a week-long meth binge left him with no memory of that day's events.
The jury believed otherwise and took only thirty minutes to convict him on his sixth set of felony charges.
Kenton Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape will sentence Bowlin in May. If she accepts the jury's recommendation, he will have to serve at least 20 years before being eligible for parole.
"Independence Police, with assistance from Kentucky State Police, did an excellent job to get this career offender behind bars before he hurt anyone else," said Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders.
Though the young mother recovered from her broken eye socket, Sanders said that she and her now 4-year old daughter still suffer emotional scars.
"They suffered an attack so violent and scary, you'd only expect to see it in a movie," said Sanders. "But the mother's strength to save her daughter, even though her face was broken and bleeding, was remarkable."
Sanders also said the young mother showed incredible courage coming to court and standing up to her attacker. "Mr. Bowlin may have overpowered her the morning of the carjacking, but she was definitely the stronger of the two in court!"
Sanders also applauded the work of yet another Kenton County jury who imposed a heavy sentence on a repeat offender. "Kenton County is tired of repeat offender committing the bulk of our crime," Sanders said. "Thanks to this jury, Mr. Bowlin won't be victimizing our community again for decades!"
-Staff report