UPDATE: Mistrial declared in Michaele Bowers murder trial due to hung jury

Crime Watch

UPDATE: A mistrial has been declared in the murder trial of Michaele Bowers after the jury said earlier this morning it was at an impasse and could not reach a verdict.

The judge said that six jurors had voted for voluntary manslaughter, four for second-degree murder, one for involuntary manslaughter and one for not guilty.

A new trial date has been set for March 16.

Monday’s mistrial marked the second time a jury has deadlocked in Bowers’ case, with her first trial in March ending in a jury hung 11-1 in favor of second-degree murder.

Defense attorney David A. Torres said the jury did a “tremendous” job.

He said he expects there could be a hung jury no matter how many times the case is tried.

“I think that having tried this case twice, I could try this case 10 more times and I think that, for the most part, they may hang again on 10 different occasions because of the issues that are involved in a case like this,” Torres said.

Those issues include determining whether Bowers’ actions the day of Ingram’s death constitute premeditated murder, self-defense or an accident.

It became apparent in speaking to some of the jurors afterward, Torres said, that some may not have understood all of the concepts — such as “intimate partner battery” — brought up during the trial.

Faced with the possibility of a third trial, Torres said it’s always difficult to retry a case.

“When I first started this case for the second time, I couldn’t get that movie ‘Groundhog Day’ out of my mind,” he said.

Prosecutor John Allen said he respects the jury’s decision and is preparing for the next court date.


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The jury in the murder trial of Michaele Bowers said Monday morning it’s at an impasse and cannot reach a verdict, but a mistrial has not yet been declared.

Judge Kenneth C. Twisselman II has given the jury several options —including reading back testimony or having attorneys perform further closing arguments — and sent jurors back to the jury room to decide whether any of those options would help them reach a verdict.

Court is in recess until 4:20 p.m. unless there is another note from the jury, which is composed of seven men and five women.

The jury had been deliberating since Monday.

The prosecution has argued Bowers, 52, killed Ray Ingram, a popular local chef, after she became fed up with his pattern of infidelity.

The defense said Ingram, 51, had abused Bowers for years, both physically and verbally, and the morning of his Feb. 22, 2017 death, he took things a step further by threatening to kill her.

After threatening her, Ingram followed Bowers to her bedroom, where she had grabbed a gun, defense lawyer David A. Torres told the jury. She held the gun close to her chest, and when Ingram entered the room she fired a single shot, killing him.

Ingram, known locally as the “Cobbler King,” was the chef and owner of J’s Place, a Southern-style restaurant on Rosedale Highway.

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