Through the thin walls of her apartment, Evelyn Watkins said, she heard her son-in-law yelling to get into the Sixth Street Southeast apartment that he shared with Watkins’ daughter, Rachel Bowles.
Watkins testified Friday in a Charlottesville courtroom that she picked up her phone that Sept. 3 night after hearing the sound of shattering glass. The couple fought and her daughter screamed while Watkins calmly explained what she was hearing to a 911 dispatcher. With police on the way, Watkins said, she hung up the phone and saw Barry Blake Bowles exit the apartment and drive away in his white truck.
Next door, there was silence.
After getting no response from Rachel Bowles in her apartment, a police officer testified that he was given permission to kick the door in. He found the woman lying on the kitchen floor with blood on her shirt. According to authorities, Rachel Bowles had been stabbed 16 times.
Barry Blake Bowles, 47, will face a grand jury this month in connection with his wife’s death. After a preliminary hearing in Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Judge Edward DeJ. Berry certified a charge of first-degree murder against Barry Bowles.
Authorities testified that Bowles was found with his truck on Hartman’s Mill Road with what appeared to be blood on his clothes and extremities. After Bowles signed a form outlining his rights, Charlottesville police Detective D.J. Harris said in court, he asked if his wife was dead.
“I told him,” Harris said. “At that point, his head went down.”
Harris testified that Bowles admitted to killing his wife, that she didn’t deserve to die and that his wife was having an affair, a statement that elicited head shaking and movement among his wife’s family in the courtroom’s gallery. The detective said Rachel Bowles’ family has said she wasn’t having an affair.
The detective testified that Barry Bowles told him that he “caught them in the act” and broke the master bedroom window. Bowles told police that he entered the apartment and followed his wife into the kitchen area, where the entrance to the master bedroom was located. Harris said Bowles told him that his wife had a knife and he felt his arm being cut while trying to move past her, taking the knife as he went to room where he said she was with another man.
“At that point, he blacked out,” Harris testified. “The next things he remembers was driving on [Interstate 64]. He came to his senses covered in blood.”
Harris said Bowles told him that the man whom his wife was with went out the window, which is about five feet off the ground. Several police officers testified Friday that the majority of the glass from the broken windowpane was found outside under the window. Harris said police found one shoeprint under the window that pointed toward the residence, a print that he said is consistent with a police-issue shoe.
Watkins testified that she didn’t hear or see anyone else in or outside of her daughter’s apartment during the incident. Authorities said the apartment doesn’t have other usable exists except for the front door. Witnesses testified that the bed in the master bedroom was not rumpled and no extraneous clothes were in the room.
Harris testified that he saw a scrape on Barry Bowles’ arm after the incident, but the detective couldn’t tell how it got there.