Son of murder victim formally appeals to State Supreme Court

Reported by Doug Wahl - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The son of a murder victim has officially filed a motion with the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Norma Ehrhart was murdered in 1975 when she went to a convenience store to pick up some groceries, but never returned home.  She was shot and killed by two men, one of which was Bobby Bowden.

Bowden sued the state last month claiming that he should be eligible for parole.  Bowden's lawyers argued that under the rules of the time of his conviction inmates received one day of good behavior for each day served.

Since the definition of a life sentence in 1975 meant a maximum of 80 years served, on the two for the price of one system, an inmate could be released after surviving only 40 years.

Earlier this month a court agreed with Bowden's lawyers, ordering that he and 19 others be set free. Last week the Governor's office intervened and filed a motion that will likely delay the release date for several months.

Now, Rick Ehrhart, Norma's son, is asking the court to rule if prison inmates convicted of violent crimes are eligible to receive time off their sentence for good behavior.

Click here to read the motion

Ehrhart, who is a lawyer in Charlotte, filed his motion under the state's victim rights guidelines.  If the North Carolina Supreme Court decides to hear his case it would the first time that such a motion was picked up by the high court.

Related stories:

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.