Hearing bogs down over wrong inmate transport
By Joe Beck
WOODSTOCK — A preliminary hearing for an accused arsonist was delayed for about three hours Friday as staff at the newly opened regional jail struggled with a case of mistaken identity while transporting the defendant.
The hearing for Daniel Bowden, 49, of Mauertown, originally scheduled for 10:30 a.m., was postponed until 1:30 p.m.
General District Court Judge Amy Tisinger, assistant commonwealth’s attorney Ilona White and defense attorney Brandon Keller said authorities discovered they had mistakenly transported Daniel Bowden’s son, David, 23, who is also a jail inmate.
Daniel Bowden waived his preliminary hearing, and the case was scheduled for a possible indictment by a grand jury on July 16.
“It didn’t have any impact on him or this case,” Keller said of the mix up.
White also said the mistake did not affect the outcome of the hearing.
“We were anticipating a waiver and a continuance,” White said.
White said she was “confident” any problems transporting prisoners in the early days of the jail’s operations will be quickly corrected.
“It’s a new staff and a new facility,” White said. “You’re going to have a few glitches.”
Tisinger waited about a half hour before announcing the postponement in the morning.
“They transported David first of all,” Tisinger said, referring to David Bowden. “Now they have the correct prisoner in transport over here.”
Management at the jail could not be reached for comment.
Daniel Bowden is accused of ramming his pickup truck two or three times into a vehicle occupied by his wife during a domestic dispute at their home on May 18. Authorities say Bowden then entered the couple’s nearly completed new home and set fire to it. Fire department officials estimated the damage at $15,000 to $20,000.
David Bowden is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty earlier this month in Warren County Circuit Court to aggravated sexual battery, unlawful wounding and several probation violations.
Daniel Bowden’s wife, Lena, appeared in general district court before the preliminary hearing to ask Tisinger to dismiss a petition for extension of a protective order issued against her husband.
Lena Bowden said she needed to speak to her husband, which she is prevented from doing while the protective order is in place.
Tisinger said extension of a protective order was Lena Bowden’s decision to make.
“Certainly, I have to honor your request in that regard,” Tisinger told her.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org