The state Supreme Court has upheld the 2011 murder conviction of a Raleigh County man tried for the shooting death of his wife.
Christopher Wayne Bowling, 40, of Daniels, is serving a life sentence without mercy for the death of Tresa Bowling on Jan. 31, 2010.
The justices voted 3-2 to affirm the Raleigh County Circuit Court conviction, but Justice Menis Ketchum and Justice Margaret Workman dissented. They believe Bowling should have been granted another trial.
Ketchum wrote in the dissenting opinion that enough errors were made in Bowling's trial to affect the outcome, including holding a pre-trial conference on questionable evidence in front of the press.
"A fair trial is one in which the rules of evidence are honored," Ketchum wrote. "So that every factual assertion can be fairly challenged.
"Under the majority opinion's philosophy, we might as well start future criminal trials with the prosecutor stating, in front of the jury, "Bring the guilty S.O.B. in here!"
"I dissent," Ketchum stated. "This case is terrible."
In their overriding opinion to let Bowling's conviction stand, the other justices said errors were committed during his trial, but they weren't enough to warrant a reversal of the conviction.
In his appeal to the Supreme Court, Bowling contended that jurors were allowed to hear about past bad behavior by the defendant toward his wife and ex-wife. He also objected to some of the testimony given and to the insufficient testimony given by a gun witness.
Mrs. Bowling was shot in the head in the couple's living room. He told police that the gun hadn't been working properly and accidentally discharged while he removed it from his pocket.
His first trial ended in a mistrial, but a second jury convicted him and recommended no chance for parole.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.