Man convicted of sex crimes asks to go free, Marshall County judge says there’s reason for dismissal

Marshall County

Michael Daniel Bowman says there was bias in the jury that convicted him, the judge is seriously considering his claim

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — Marshall County Circuit Court saw a face that was familiar to the room Tuesday. A man already serving time for sexual abuse called on fairness and asked the judge presiding to look at the trial transcript from many years ago. 

A trial by jury in May of 2017 found Michael Daniel Bowman guilty of sex crime. Now four years later, he sits in front of Marshall County Judge David Hummel Jr. asking to be freed. 

“Fighting things I know I didn’t commit,” said Bowman to the judge.

It’s a question of a bias jury. 

Among those Bowman called to the stand: Juror Gary Martin on the question of the authenticity of his signature. And then, Bowman’s own former Defense Attorney Mark Panepinto.  

Bowman is claiming forgery of a signature of one of the jurors, but it’s opening a can of worms as to how the jury was prepped.  

A transcript of the grand jury was then brought into evidence.

After reading the transcript for the first time, Judge Hummel said there is room for concern. He said the grand jury was not prepped properly to spot bias from facts. 

“It is improper for a prosecutor to influence a grand jury except through the presentation of evidence. Or giving court supervised instructions.” 

Judge David Hummel, Marshall County Circuit Court

The State Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will now look over the transcript and rebuttal tomorrow. 

“You’re entitled to an unbiased jury,” said Judge Hummel.

The judge says he is withholding his verdict of dismissing this case with or without bias until hearing from the prosecution.

7NEWS will be in the courtroom Wednesday to bring you the very latest on this reopened case.

Stay with 7NEWS for updates.

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