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April 7, 2013

Formerly convicted robber found not guilty

Robert Dowell had faced 45 year sentence

(Continued)

Cass County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Swaim said Dowell’s interactions at the bar with the victim and his conversations with Rush and Boehme proved that he participated in the plan.

“This was a knowing and intentional act,” Swaim said.

In response, Matthew Barrett, Dowell’s attorney, questioned the legitimacy of Rush and Boehme’s testimony, and said during the trial the state presented “misleading, biased witnesses and drunken dreams.”

“The state’s case was based on nothing more than people who were untruthful, high on drugs and a sloppy investigation,” Barrett said in an interview after the verdict.

Rush has pleaded guilty to the crime, while Boehme still faces trial. Both were offered immunity for their testimony during the trial, Barrett said.

Cass Superior II Judge Rick Maughmer presided over Dowell’s case.

After the not guilty verdict was read, Dowell turned around to look at his family, many of whom were crying. He touched his heart and said “Thank You” to them.

His class A felony would have carried a penalty of 20 to 50 years in a prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Asked about her thoughts on the verdict, Swaim said the jury did what they thought was right.

“The jury has spoken,” Swaim said.

Barrett said his client was particularly happy to have a chance at a normal life again.

“He’s especially glad to go home and see his daughter,” Barrett said.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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