BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Michaele Bowers, who had been charged with murder in the death of a popular local chef, pleaded no contest Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter and will be sentenced next month to six years in prison.
The plea deal marks a resolution to a case that began the morning of Feb. 22, 2017, when Bowers shot and killed her longtime boyfriend, Ray Ingram, 51, at her Bakersfield home. She has twice been tried for murder, and both trials ended in hung juries. One trial ended in March of last year, the other in February.
The defense said at trial that Ingram abused Bowers for years, both physically and verbally and on that morning he threatened to kill her. Bowers ran to her bedroom and grabbed a gun, according to the defense. Ingram followed her and when he entered the room she fired a single shot, killing him.
Prosecutors said Ingram never threatened Bowers. They alleged she killed him in a fit of jealousy over a relationship he was having with another woman.
Days before the shooting, Bowers discovered a receipt that showed Ingram had bought two sets of Valentine’s gifts, prosecutors said. One gift went to Bowers, the other to a woman whom he’d fathered a child with and who Bowers believed he was no longer seeing.
Ingram, known locally as the “Cobbler King,” was chef and owner of Southern-style restaurant J’s Place.
Sentencing is set for Oct. 29.