In May 2017, the small community of Chickalah in rural Arkansas suddenly became the location for a triple murder. Over a few hours, James Bowden killed three people, including a local sheriff. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Home Alone: A Mother and a Maniac’ focuses on why James took such drastic steps and what happened to him after. So, if you’re curious about the same, we’ve got you covered!
Who is James Bowden?
James Michael Bowden and Haley McHam had been in a relationship for nearly a decade. However, it was an abusive one, with Haley being mistreated regularly. Her family urged her many times to leave James and start over. On the night of May 10, 2017, Haley finally decided to let go. Instead of returning home to James, she went to her mother, 61-year-old Rita Miller. Also supportive of Haley’s decision was her daughter, 17-year-old Ciera Miller.
But sadly, Haley later stated that this was the reason things went off the rails. During the early hours of May 11, James drove to Rita’s home in Chickalah, leading to an argument between Haley and her former boyfriend. The argument then turned physical when he hit both Haley and Ciera. James later claimed that Rita shot at him, which prompted him to get a gun. In the meantime, a 911 call meant that the authorities were aware of the domestic violence situation.
Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart spotted James in his vehicle on the highway nearby and pulled him over. The 46-year-old officer then tased James, at which point James grabbed Kevin’s gun and fatally shot him. Then, Haley’s boyfriend drove back to her mother’s house, where he shot and killed both Rita and Ciera. James then held Haley hostage for several hours. She said she feared for her life, later adding, “I told him anything I could. I told him everything he wanted to hear; I told him I loved him and would come and see him. I told him anything that might work.”
James, then-42-years-old, had a history of mental illness and was taking anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants. Haley escaped when he took some pain pills, got drowsy, and went to the garage to get food. About 30 minutes after Haley was out, James surrendered to the police. He was then charged with three counts of capital murder.
Where is James Bowden Now?
In June 2017, facing a possible death sentence, 42-year-old James Arthur Bowden pleaded guilty to the three murders and instead received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. In the courtroom, he said, “I’m really sorry about what happened. I can’t be forgiven, so I won’t ask.” Haley talked of regretting her time with James, adding, “I devoted nine years to James Bowden. I let my family and kids down every time I went back to him.” As per prison records, he remains incarcerated at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys, Arkansas.
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