Bowman gets life sentences for Virginia murder

By: 
Scott Sullivan, Staff Writer

Dennis Bowman, charged May 15 with killing his adopted daughter in Fillmore Township 31 years ago, pleaded guilty June 10 to murdering a woman in Norfolk, Va., in 1980.

Bowman, 70, last week was given two life sentences after pleading guilty to the first-degree murder and rape of Kathleen Doyle, 25, plus 20 more years in prison for burglary in that case.

He is expected to be extradited to Allegan County, where he will next face charges of killing his adopted daughter.

Aundria Bowman, 14, was reported March 11, 1989, as a runaway from their Fillmore Township home. Her adoptive father, who has a long criminal record in Michigan, was suspected but the girl’s body was not found.

In the Virginia case, Doyle was found raped, strangled and stabbed in the chest in her home in Norfolk Sept. 11, 1980. She was a Navy pilot’s wife.

Last fall, local state police and sheriff’s deputies began working on a joint investigation with the Norfolk Police Department and Naval Criminal Investigations Service regarding Doyle’s homicide. They had DNA samples from both victims.

Dennis Bowman was arrested Nov. 22, 2019, coming out of a store in Burnips in connection with Doyle’s murder. He was extradited in February from Michigan to Virginia.

On Feb. 4 this year, new information led law enforcement to a shallow grave in the 3200 block of 136th Avenue in Monterey Township, near Bowman’s home, where skeletal remains were found under a slab of concrete.

Charges of open murder, felony murder, first-degree child abuse and mutilation were lodged against him in Aundria’s case thereafter.

Michigan court records show Dennis Bowman, in 1980, was found guilty of an assault in Ottawa County. According to a case transcript, a woman was riding her bike when Bowman came up behind her on a motorcycle, pulled in front of her and stopped. She said he pulled out a gun and told her to walk towards the woods.

She testified Bowman fired two shots and told her he would blow a hole in her, then a car drove by and she was able to escape before calling police.

In 1981, he was sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison for the incident and was released in 1986.

In 1998 Bowman was arrested for breaking and entering in Allegan County. According to court records, a search of his property after the break-in found a shotgun and a duffel bag containing lingerie. He was sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation.

No hearing dates have been set yet in Aundria Bowman’s case.

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