38-year-old Jason Bowman and his wife, 53-year-old Jane Bowman, were sentenced in 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday morning. The two had plead Guilty in early October per a plea agreement with the State. The couple were initially charged with two counts–Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetemine; and Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance. By taking the plea, the Conspiracy charge was dropped.
Prior to issuing the sentence, State prosecutor, Sheridan Deputy County Attorney Christopher LaRosa, recommended that the Bowmans be sentenced to 2 ½ to 4 years in prison, suspended, in lieu of a 180-day split sentence with credit for time served. LaRosa argued that more jail time was necessary in order to send a message to the Bowmans – and to others in the world of Meth use and provision – that their crime was a grave one. He added, however, that the State recognized the rehabilitative potential with the probation terms.
Public Defender Robert Jones, representing Jason Bowman, argued that the 120-day split would not be helpful for his client’s treatment. He told Judge John Fenn that Jason has sixteen more weeks on the Relapse Prevention portion of his treatment, and that his 46 days already served in jail should satisfy the incarceration requirement.
Jane Bowman’s attorney, Public Defender Robert Jackson of Gillette, acknowledged that what the couple had done was criminal, but the Court needs to look at what they’ve already lost. Both will forever have the stigma of being convicted felons; Jane Bowman has served 51 days in jail, a period of time, he said, that was not inconsequential.
Other than this, Jackson added, she has a clean criminal record, and has been undergoing extensive counseling, treatment and recovery through a program conducted through Highland Community Church in Casper, where the Bowmans live.
When given the opportunity to speak, Jason Bowman countered LaRosa’s claim that they’ve been ‘downplaying’ their involvement in the crime. He told Judge Fenn, “We do feel responsible, and are trying to make it right with our community, our family and each other. The opportunity you’ve given us by allowing us to bond out has been important; we’re digging in and taking advantage of that opportunity."
Jane Bowman said, “Jail was devastating to me. The short term seemed forever; I’ve never been in jail before.” She went on to tell the Court how beneficial the treatment and recovery program has been for both of them, and she said she “would like to share through recovery and support the experience we’ve had, to tell others how awful this drug is, but that there is hope.”
After hearing from all attorneys and each defendant, Judge Fenn sentenced the Bowmans on one count of Delivery of a Controlled Substance to 2 ½ to 4 years, suspended, in lieu of a split sentence equal to the time each has already served. They were then put on four years supervised probation. They were instructed to check in with Sheridan’s Probation and Parole; the probation will be transferred to Natrona County.
Judge Fenn closed by saying, “Your actions while out on bond have been most persuasive.”