Former Executive Gets 26 Years to Life in Murder — (THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE)

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October 21, 2000

[]SAN JOSE –  A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge has sentenced a former high-tech executive to 26 years to life in prison for the February 1999 stabbing death of his wife.

Colman M. Bowers, 46, once was a vice president with San Jose computer software firm Baydel North America Inc. On July 17, a jury convicted him of murdering his wife of 20 years, Georgina, by stabbing her in the heart with an 8-inch kitchen knife at their home in Santa Clara.

The sentence handed down Thursday by Superior Court Judge Paul Teilh was the maximum permissible under the law.

“(The sentence is) exactly what we wanted, hoped for, expected and what he deserved,” said Deputy District Attorney Terry Bowman, who prosecuted Bowers.

During the three-week trial, Bowman told the jury that Bowers was obsessed with a Las Vegas prostitute and attacked his sleeping wife in their bedroom because she threatened to leave him and take their 10-year-old daughter home to their native Ireland.

One of the couple’s three children now works in the Bay Area, Bowman said. The other two are living with their mother’s family in Ireland.

Palo Alto defense attorney Kleigh Hathaway, who represented Bowers since his arrest, said Thursday that an appeal will be filed in the case.

“Today was yet again another tragedy,” she said. “Mr. Bowers is now going to start his sentence of 26 years to life with really not any practical or realistic chance of being paroled.”

Hathaway repeated statements she made during the trial that her client has bipolar and dissociative disorder but was misdiagnosed with major depression and misprescribed medication.  That medication, in concert with alcohol and his own illnesses, disconnected him with reality at the time of the crime, she said.

“We must have been in different trials,” Bowman said. “The evidence came in very cleanly, and the jury did the correct thing according to that evidence.”

Record Number:  3144249