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Bone faces hearing on murder parole violation

 

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Bone faces hearing on murder parole violation

Tim Leed — [email protected]

Robert "Bobby" Henry Bone soon will be back before the state parole board, this time to see if he will go back to prison for violating parole on a 104-year sentence for a 1987 double murder.

Bone, 52, moved back to Havre after being paroled Jan. 31 from his 104-year sentence for the shooting deaths of Richard and Bernadette Cowan on Jan. 21, 1987. He has been held in the Hill County Detention Center without bond since July 19 on a charge of probation violation.

The Cowans were shot and buried in a shallow grave about 17 miles southeast of Chinook.

Scott Brotnov of the state Probation and Parole Division of the Montana Department of Corrections said Thursday that he held a hearing the previous week and determined that probable cause existed to show Bone had violated conditions of his parole and would have to appear before the the state parole board.

Brotnov said Bone is accused of changing his residence without permission, two counts of lying to his parole officer and three counts of drinking alcohol.

Craig Thomas, executive director of the state parole board, said there probably will not be time for the board to hear Bone's case this month. It likely will be heard the end of September.

Bone pleaded guilty April 13, 1987, to deliberate homicide in the death of Bernadette Cowan and to deliberate homicide by accountability in the death of Richard Cowan. He was sentenced June 19, 1987, to 100 years for each offense, with an additional four years on each count for use of a deadly weapon in the offense. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

His fellow defendant, Lloyd Wilson, 54, pleaded guilty May 13, 1987, to deliberate homicide in the death of Richard Cowan and deliberate homicide by accountability in the death of Bernadette Cowan. He was sentenced July 2, 1987, to 100 years for deliberate homicide and to 75 years for the accountability charge, with an additional 10 years added to each sentence for use of a dangerous weapon in the offense. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively.

Wilson is still incarcerated in the state prison.

The bodies of the victims were found after a Crimestopper tip led authorities to Wilson's girlfriend. She testified in Wilson's sentencing hearing that he told her on Jan. 21 he was going to kill Richard Cowan.

The prosecution had granted her immunity for her testimony in the cases.

The woman testified that, fearing for her safety, she had lied to Wilson and told him that Cowan and another man had raped her.

Bone later agreed to help Wilson in the killings.

She testified that the Cowans were with Wilson and Bone in Havre the night of the murders. The five drove to Blaine County together after Wilson suggested they go to purchase illegal drugs, she said.

The woman testified that she was outside of a house at the farmstead and heard the shots that killed Richard and Bernadette Cowan while Bone and Wilson were inside with them.

She testified that she did not go to the authorities to report the murders because she feared for her life.

Robert "Bobby" Henry Bone soon will be back before the state parole board, this time to see if he will go back to prison for violating parole on a 104-year sentence for a 1987 double murder.

Bone, 52, moved back to Havre after being paroled Jan. 31 from his 104-year sentence for the shooting deaths of Richard and Bernadette Cowan on Jan. 21, 1987. He has been held in the Hill County Detention Center without bond since July 19 on a charge of probation violation.

The Cowans were shot and buried in a shallow grave about 17 miles southeast of Chinook.

Scott Brotnov of the state Probation and Parole Division of the Montana Department of Corrections said Thursday that he held a hearing the previous week and determined that probable cause existed to show Bone had violated conditions of his parole and would have to appear before the the state parole board.

Brotnov said Bone is accused of changing his residence without permission, two counts of lying to his parole officer and three counts of drinking alcohol.

Craig Thomas, executive director of the state parole board, said there probably will not be time for the board to hear Bone's case this month. It likely will be heard the end of September.

Bone pleaded guilty April 13, 1987, to deliberate homicide in the death of Bernadette Cowan and to deliberate homicide by accountability in the death of Richard Cowan. He was sentenced June 19, 1987, to 100 years for each offense, with an additional four years on each count for use of a deadly weapon in the offense. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

His fellow defendant, Lloyd Wilson, 54, pleaded guilty May 13, 1987, to deliberate homicide in the death of Richard Cowan and deliberate homicide by accountability in the death of Bernadette Cowan. He was sentenced July 2, 1987, to 100 years for deliberate homicide and to 75 years for the accountability charge, with an additional 10 years added to each sentence for use of a dangerous weapon in the offense. The sentences were ordered to run consecutively.

Wilson is still incarcerated in the state prison.

The bodies of the victims were found after a Crimestopper tip led authorities to Wilson's girlfriend. She testified in Wilson's sentencing hearing that he told her on Jan. 21 he was going to kill Richard Cowan.

The prosecution had granted her immunity for her testimony in the cases.

The woman testified that, fearing for her safety, she had lied to Wilson and told him that Cowan and another man had raped her.

Bone later agreed to help Wilson in the killings.

She testified that the Cowans were with Wilson and Bone in Havre the night of the murders. The five drove to Blaine County together after Wilson suggested they go to purchase illegal drugs, she said.

The woman testified that she was outside of a house at the farmstead and heard the shots that killed Richard and Bernadette Cowan while Bone and Wilson were inside with them.

She testified that she did not go to the authorities to report the murders because she feared for her life.

 
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