D.A.: Murderer of GPD Officer Kevin Jordan will die in prison

kevin jordan

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the conviction of Michael Bowman in the 2014 shooting death of Griffin Police Department Officer Kevin Jordan.

Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ben Coker said his office is pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Were were very pleased. We felt like it was a clean trial – and error-free trial. We weren’t originally pleased with the verdict of guilty, but mentally ill. We felt he was deserving of the death penalty, but now that it’s been upheld by the Supreme Court, we can put this behind us,” Coker said. “The guilty, but mentally ill verdict just means that the jurors felt he did suffer from PTSD, that although he was guilty, his mental condition played into his actions. There was never going to be a scenario where that jury was going to return a death penalty, so we withdrew it at that point.”

Although Bowman did not receive the sentence Coker felt was justified, he said he is satisfied he will remain behind bars.

“His sentence was life without parole. In Michael Bowman’s case, life without parole means that he will die in prison,” Coker said.

Chantell Mixon, Bowman’s girlfriend, was also prosecuted in connection to Jordan’s death on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and obstruction of a law enforcement officer. While incarcerated, she was given an additional two-year sentence for possession of a weapon or drugs by a prisoner. Even so, Mixon was released July 3, 2018, only four years, two months and three days after Officer Jordan was brutally murdered.

In the Supreme Court ruling, Justice Robert Benham stated, “…According to witnesses, things went ‘downhill’ as soon as the trio arrived;” that Bowman, along with his girlfriend, Chantell Mixon, and his brother, Tyler Taylor, “appeared to be intoxicated and were ‘obnoxious’ and ‘loud;’” and that the trio was overheard “discussing a desire to get into a fight and making derogatory comments about Officer Jordan…”

Upon the request of Waffle House employees, Jordan began to escort the trio out of the restaurant.

At that time, Mixon attempted to attack Jordan. When Jordan announced Mixon was going to jail and attempted to handcuff her, the two fell to the ground.

Bowman then fired five shots into Jordan’s back at close range, killing him.

Despite claiming he was innocent by reason of insanity, and was in a dissociative state due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a traumatic brain injury sustained during active duty combat military service, Bowman was in 2015 convicted of murdering Officer Kevin Jordan.

Bowman’s appeal alleged the state failed to prove he acted with criminal intent when he shot Jordan.

In the unanimous opinion, Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham wrote, “When Bowman, Mixon and Taylor arrived at the Waffle House, they had been drinking and seemed ‘angry,’ and the trio were overheard discussing ‘kicking [Officer Jordan’s] a**.’ When Officer Jordan attempted to arrest Mixon, Bowman drew his pistol and accurately fired five shots into Officer Jordan’s back; Bowman then began wildly firing at people and objects in the vicinity. The jury also received expert testimony that Bowman did not have PTSD at the time of the incident. Bowman’s conduct and demeanor, as well as the circumstances surrounding the incident, evinced criminal intent authorizing the jury’s verdict.”

Bowman also alleged that because he presented ‘extensive expert testimony’ establishing he was in a dissociative state at the time he shot and killed Jordan, prosecutors failed to prove his actions were voluntary.

In response, Benham wrote, “While there were defense experts who testified that Bowman suffers from PTSD, has a traumatic brain injury, and was in a dissociative state at the time of the incident, the State countered this testimony at trial. Experts for both the State and the trial court testified that Bowman’s actions were not the result of PTSD or a traumatic brain injury. Thus the jury was authorized to believe the State and trial court’s experts over the defense’s experts and find that Bowman’s acts were voluntary.”

Bowman’s final argument that was addressed by the Georgia Supreme Court alleged that no rational jury could find he failed to meet the burden of proof that he was not guilty by reason of insanity.

“We disagree,” Benham succinctly stated before citing full basis of the Court’s belief the jury’s verdict was justified.

Coker, who personally knew and worked with Officer Kevin Jordan, is still deeply touched by effort put into prosecuting his killer.

“I appreciate all the support from law enforcement and how they handled that case, especially the Griffin Police Department and the GBI,” he said. “The professionalism they displayed sends chills over me to this day. Law enforcement is a brotherhood and it really showed throughout that trial.”

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