Trial begins for teen accused of killing mother’s boyfriend

Published 12:14 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The trial of a Vicksburg teen accused of killing his mother’s live-in boyfriend began this morning with jury selection in Warren County Circuit Court.

Jeremy Blake Bowlin, 19, 3400 U.S. 80, Lot 4, is accused of the Jan. 6, 2011, shooting death of Timothy Wayne Harmon, 25, of the same address.

Jurors were chosen from a pool of about 300 Warren County residents chosen at random from voter lists, and sworn in by presiding Judge Isadore Patrick.

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The defense will argue that Bowlin acted in self-defense, attorney Ramel Cotton said at a hearing Friday.

Cotton argued that the trial should be postponed because results of a gunshot residue test performed on Harmon’s remains arrived only the day before from the Mississippi State Crime Lab.

Time to analyze the results and retain an expert to testify about them were critical to his argument that Bowlin acted in self-defense, Cotton said.

Cotton also wanted a new test ordered, calling into question the trustworthiness of the original because no residue was found on Harmon and it was the defense’s contention that Harmon also fired a weapon, he said.

Patrick denied the motion, saying Cotton should have anticipated the results and prepared his defense accordingly.

“I can’t continue the trial because it doesn’t say what you want,” the judge told Cotton.

Patrick said he would consider barring testimony about similar tests performed on Bowlin.

Deputies were called to the trailer park just east of Newmans Road when neighbors reported shots fired “at or near” the home just before 4 a.m., authorities said. Harmon’s body was found in the doorway of the home.

Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said Harmon died immediately from a single gunshot to the chest.

Sheriff Martin Pace said Harmon was the live-in boyfriend of Jeremy Bowlin’s mother, Christine Bowlin, 38. It was unclear how long Harmon and Christine Bowlin had lived together, he said.

An argument reportedly had occurred between Harmon and Jeremy Bowlin, Pace said at the time, and Harmon was shot with a high-powered hunting rifle.

The rifle was recovered, along with other weapons, Pace said.

Cotton said at Friday’s hearing that expended shell casings were recovered at the home from two different weapons.

Jeremy Bowlin, who has been held without bond in the Warren County Jail since his arrest on the homicide charge, had been scheduled to go to trial in Warren County Circuit Court March 7, 2011, on charges of auto burglary, residential burglary and grand larceny from two arrests, Feb. 13 and April 24, 2010. He was indicted by the Warren County grand jury in July 2010 for the arrests. The cases are still pending.

Timothy Harmon grew up in the Vicksburg area and had attended Warren Central High School, his brother, John Harmon said. He worked in construction and air conditioning repair.