A Chattanooga man accused of homicide will find out on July 11 if his $1,750,000 bond will be lowered after the court on Thursday heard testimony from a couple of witnesses.
Tracy Lee Bowman, 45, shot a drug dealer named Roger Kelly and stole several guns and pills from Kelly’s trailer in 2018, police said.
Bowman initially denied being involved in the incident, but later confessed to detective Robert Rush that he had shot Kelly. Bowman claimed he did so in self-defense.
Rush was one of two witnesses interviewed by Bowman’s attorney Hank Hill.
After Rush mostly re-iterated the already-known facts of the case, attorney Hill questioned detective Rush about what the detective would do if he someone was pointing a gun at him and was forced to defend himself.
“If I have a gun pointed at me, I’m going to shoot,” said the witness.
The next witness was Magistrate Jacques Cabell, who formerly served with Bowman in the United States Marines. Hel now serves as a Juvenile Court magistrate in Williamson County.
Magistrate Cabell spoke at length about their time in Fallujah, Iraq during the early 2000’s. Bowman was the section chief over their motor-T unit.
The witness spoke glowingly of Bowman’s leadership skills.
He said, “We looked to him to tell us what to do. Everyone takes leadership qualities from other people, and I took many qualities from Mr. Bowman. He was always the one to be first, and do it.”
Magistrate Cabell said that the two men continued to stay in touch after Bowman left the Marines in 2007 up until Bowman’s arrest last year.
While he never saw anything in particular that would concern him, he did notice something troubling about his former officer.
“I had some concerns. I had some thoughts. It would be a concern, some of the things I would hear or things people would tell me.”
Magistrate Cabell also became concerned when Bowman began to frequently visit “the VA.”
“I know Tracy has had some injuries,” he said, “and anytime someone gets involved with the VA, that makes me think about drug use.”
After hearing both witnesses, the prosecuting attorney asked Judge Don Poole to consider what was said in the preliminary hearing. Both the audio and the transcript were submitted as evidence.
Defense attorney Hill asked for the bond to be lowered to $50,000, which would be an affordable amount for Bowman’s family. He also asked for Bowman’s non-existent criminal history to be considered by the court.
An incredulous prosecution deemed that number to be “inappropriate” when the circumstances of the case were taken into account.
“His culpability is high, and I don’t think there’s enough proof on the defense’s side to lower it to $50,000," said the prosecuting attorney.
After listening to the various arguments, Judge Poole simply stated, “I’m not setting the bond today,” and asked each side if a July 11 date would work for them.
Both sides found that date to be agreeable.