The murder trial of Viola Bowman, who’s maintained her innocence in the killing of her husband, continued in Clay County Circuit Court on Monday, but an end could be in sight.
Prosecutors said they were expecting additional witnesses to take the stand as well as several possible rebuttal witnesses. Jury instructions and closing arguments will likely take place Monday afternoon.
Bowman, 60, faces first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges in the shooting death of her husband, Albert “Rusty” Bowman.
Bowman is accused of fatally shooting her husband in their Kansas City, North home and staging the scene to look like a break-in.
She was arrested in January 2015 and has been in jail awaiting trial since then.
During opening arguments last week, jurors listened to audio of a frantic 911 call Bowman made after she arrived home and found her husband covered in blood in his recliner. Police responded to the residence at 5530 N.E. Munger Road on a possible home invasion.
Bowman then claimed that someone had broken in.
“Hurry,” Bowman was heard on the recording saying to a dispatcher. “There’s blood everywhere.”
Prosecutors alleged Bowman benefited from a life insurance policy and that statements she made to police were “rife with inconsistencies.”
The couple had purchased a home in Warsaw, Mo., and planned to move there after Albert Bowman retired from the Kansas City Water Services Department.
At the time of the death, a relative said Bowman kept asking, “What am I going to do without him?”
Spencer Curtis, a Clay County assistant prosecuting attorney, said Bowman fired two rounds at Rusty, striking him in the head and the chest.
Horton Lance, a public defender who is representing Bowman, said she loved her husband of 35 years. Bowman was at Walmart when the homicide occurred and when she arrived home, she has said.
The Star has previously reported that Bowman has spent more than six-and-a-half years in jail awaiting trial. Her case was featured in The Star’s investigation into Missouri’s public defender system. Bowman’s case was delayed as her public defender handled hundreds of cases and requested dozens of continuances on Bowman’s case.
A year ago, Bowman rejected a plea deal that would have sent her home with time served, saying that she did not kill her husband.