TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 5, 2014

Bowling gets 5 years added to sentence

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A man sentenced to 40 years in jail got another five years added to his sentence Thursday in Knox County Circuit Court.

James L. Bowling, 45, of Lily, appeared before Judge Tom Jensen with his attorney, Kara Vallence.

He faced two counts of first-degree bail jumping and one count of second-degree escape — and on Thursday entered into a plea agreement that allowed him to plead guilty to one count of first-degree bail jumping.

Then, by Bowling’s request, Jensen proceeded to sentence him — he received a three-year term, but that was enhanced to five years because of his second-degree persistent felony offender conviction.

That sentence, Jensen said, was to be served consecutively to his 40-year prison term.

In March, Bowling failed to show for his sentencing hearing — and was eventually caught in Laurel County.

Laurel County Sheriff John Root said Detective and U.S. Marshal Warrant Task Force Officer Jason Back arrested Bowling after learning some information concerning his possible location.

Root said Bowling was arrested in Leslie County, then explained he likely removed his ankle bracelet. Bowling had been jailed in the Knox County Detention Center for two separate cases against him, and was released on $75,000 bond with an ankle bracelet requirement.

Root said Back served Bowling with Knox County bench warrants charging failure to appear in court regarding 10 counts of first-degree rape, two counts of third-degree arson, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, one count of first-degree wanton endangerment, one count of first-degree persistent felony offender and second-degree fleeing and evading police on foot.

After jumping bail, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Danny Evans said that Bowling’s plea agreement could possibly have been terminated. The plea agreement was made in January.

But that was not the case.

Bowling was handed a 21-count indictment one year ago in March. All charges were related to sex crimes Bowling allegedly committed against a minor, including 10 counts of first-degree rape. All crimes reportedly occurred between April 2010 to July 2012. He was also indicted on charges of first-degree persistent felony offender, after his Laurel County conviction in February 2010 of possession of methamphetamine precursors, and his Knox County conviction in March 1998 for his fourth offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants and first-degree wanton endangerment.

Bowling had already been named on an October 2012 indictment. In that case he was charged with two counts of third-degree arson, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree wanton endangerment, second-degree fleeing or evading police, alcohol intoxication and first-degree persistent felony offender.

In the rape case, Bowling was to enter a guilty plea to amended charges — two counts of second-degree rape. According to the plea agreement, Bowling was to be sentenced to 10 years for each one of those counts — a total of 20 years, as the sentences would run consecutively. The remaining counts of that original indictment would then have been dismissed.

In the arson case, Bowling was to plead guilty to the first two counts on his indictment — two charges of third-degree arson — and plead guilty to the amended charge of second-degree persistent felony offender. The Commonwealth’s recommended sentence in that case was five years on each charge, enhanced to 10 years each with his plea to second-degree persistent felony offender. That totals another 20-year sentence, which is to run consecutively to the first 20-year sentence, according to the plea agreement.

That left Bowling with a 40-year sentence.

Also, Bowling was ordered to pay $21,000 in restitution to two of the property holders who were victimized by his arson crimes. The remaining counts of that original indictment were then dismissed.

Jensen wished Bowling good luck, then remanded him back into custody.

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