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May 09, 2024

Convicted Felon Faces Up to 20 Years in St. Tammany Parish

District Attorney Collin Sims reports that on May 8, 2024, a St. Tammany Parish jury found 47-year-old Derrick Bowman of New Orleans, guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft of a firearm. Bowman faces up to twenty years in prison when he is sentenced, which is presently scheduled for May 30, 2024.

Testimony during the trial established that in October of 2022, the victim reported to Slidell Police that a close friend of hers, Derrick Bowman, had stolen her firearm. She told police that he had arrived at her home for a visit and that after he left, she noticed her handgun was missing. She told police that the handgun was always underneath the mattress in her bedroom and the magazines were on the headboard. She said that the defendant knew exactly where it was kept because he had lived with her previously. She stated that she called the defendant immediately upon discovering the missing gun and he admitted he had taken it and promised to return it soon. When he didn’t return it after several days, she began communication with him through text messages and Instagram messages. She eventually grew weary of his various excuses for not returned her gun so she threatened to file a police report if he did not immediately return it. He then stopped all communication with her and blocked her on social media. 

Once the victim notified the Slidell Police Department, officers attempted to locate the defendant. Officers soon learned the defendant was on active parole after serving 18 years of a 33-year sentence on a manslaughter conviction out of New Orleans. The defendant’s parole officer stated that the defendant had absconded supervision sometime in 2022 and his whereabouts were unknown. A warrant for the defendant’s arrest was issued and in April of 2023, he was arrested in Miami, Florida and extradited back to Louisiana.

During closing arguments at the conclusion of the trial, defense counsel questioned the credibility of the victim. In response, Assistant District Attorney Taylor Nicholson reminded the jury that they are able to convict someone based on just one person’s testimony. “And if you find the victim believable you can find him guilty.” She told the jury, the victim was adamant on the stand when the defense questioned her honesty and said, “I did not lie!” Ms. Nicholson concluded by telling the jury, “There is only one verdict supported by the evidence in this case and that is guilty as charged.”

District Judge Scott Gardner presided over the trial. Assistant District Attorneys Taylor Nicholson and Casey Allen prosecuted the case.

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