'I can't think of many more horrifying crimes than this one': Quincy man gets 25 years in stabbing of elderly woman

Turhan D. Bowen
Posted: Sep. 10, 2013 4:17 pm Updated: Sep. 24, 2013 5:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

A Quincy man will spend at least two decades in prison after admitting to stabbing an elderly Quincy woman last month.

Turhan D. Bowen, 51, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday by Judge William Mays after pleading guilty to home invasion, one of four charges he was facing after the Aug. 4 incident at a mobile home park south of Quincy. Three other charges, including attempted first-degree murder, were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

"(The victim) has made a miraculous recovery," First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha said. "She had graciously allowed us to pursue this (agreement). (Bowen) should be thankful for (the victim) because the people were fully prepared to go after 30 years."

Without the negotiation, Bowen could have been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Because he pleaded guilty to a Class X felony, Bowen must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence -- 21 years, three months -- meaning he will be at least 72 years old when released. Bowen must then serve three years of mandatory supervised release.

Police said Bowen, a family friend of the victim, entered her home on the afternoon of Aug. 4. Farha said Bowen forced the door and attacked the 82-year-old woman. He stabbed her twice in the neck, bound her with duct tape, and left with cash and jewelry.

"He left her in the middle of the floor, but she was still able to crawl to the door but couldn't open it," Farha said. "He appeared to be out of his mind when he attacked her."

Farha said that some members of Bowen's family became aware of what he had done by some things he told them.

Adams County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at 5:47 p.m. at the victim's home. During the investigation, deputies came across evidence that required a search warrant for a residence in the 500 block of Sycamore. Bowen was arrested three hours after the 911 call was made.

Farha said Bowen admitted full responsibility for his actions when questioned by police on the night of the incident. Farha said that there was "strong substance abuse involved" with the incident.

Bowen, dressed in a red- and white-striped Adams County Jail jumpsuit, looked on stoically throughout most of the 20-minute hearing. When asked by Mays if he would like to say anything before sentencing, Bowen shook his head from side to side and softly said, "No, your honor."

Bowen waived his right to a pre-sentence investigation so that he could immediately be sentenced. When a plea and sentence have been negotiated to take place at the same time, it's rare for either the prosecution or the defense to have any further argument other than asking the judge to accept the terms of the plea and the sentence.

However, Farha added a few words at Tuesday's hearing.

"I've been around the criminal justice system in Adams County for nearly 30 years now," Farha said. "I can't think of many more horrifying crimes than this one."

Bowen originally was supposed to be in court for his preliminary hearing, which had been twice continued. The prosecution and defense thought they had a deal in place last week only to have Bowen tell his attorney, Public Defender Holly Henze, that he wanted a preliminary hearing.

Farha said Bowen owed the victim $400 restitution as well as paying her medical bills. The victim was in Blessing Hospital for almost a week.

This will be Bowen's fourth trip to prison. He previously was sentenced to six years after pleading guilty to aggravated battery in 1988. He also was sentenced to five years for aggravated battery in a public place in 1993 and four years for possessing methamphetamine manufacturing materials in 2006.

He had been lodged in the Adams County Jail since his arrest in lieu of $1 million bond.