Victim's family reacts to murderer's release

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Lauren Thomson - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The daughter of a murder victim says she's reliving the nightmare of her mother's death now that the man convicted of killing her will be released from prison.

Bobby E. Bowden got life in prison for the murder but will be back on the streets after serving just 30 years.

Pam Hurley was only seventeen years old in 1975, when her mother, Norma Ehrhart, and a nineteen year old store clerk, Larry Lovett, were shot and killed at a conveinance store in Fayetteville.

Now, almost three and a half decades later, her mother's murderer, who is serving a life sentence, is getting out of jail.

"You think, okay, this person is in jail... they're serving eighty years. They'll die in prison and now, you're reliving it all over again," said Hurley.

So how could this happen? Since his imprisonment in 1975, Bowden has received what are called sentence reduction credits. He received enough credits to reduce his eighty year sentence to forty years.

"Fifteen years ago, the law changed to make life without parole really mean that. Before then, people could get out for good behavior," explained New Hanover and Pender County District Attorney Ben David.

Now, the state supreme court has ruled that Bowden, along with twenty other felons, can leave jail in only a matter of weeks.

"These are not people who were convicted of J-walking. It's a bad decision. It's a wrong decision and a scary decision," said Hurley.

According to advisors, Governor Bev Perdue is appalled over the decision, but, Ben David said there's not much she or the general assembly can do about it.

In the meantime, Hurley will do everything she can do including writing letters and continuing to call people.

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