December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Man gets 15 years for beating grandmother

ELYRIA — An Elyria man who beat his elderly grandmother during a robbery last year was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison.

Shawn Bowens, 26, told county Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery that he was truly sorry for the grief he had caused his family and the pain he had inflicted upon his grandmother, 75-year-old Velma Bowens.

JASON MILLER / CHRONICLE
Aric Bowens (center) reads a statement from his family during the sentencing for his cousin Shawn Bowens (right) who was convicted of attempted murder, felonious assault and aggravated burglary against their grandmother, Velma Bowens.

Family members found Velma Bowens beaten and bloodied in the bedroom of her West River Road home in Elyria in June 2006. Her injuries were severe enough that she required facial reconstruction surgery.

Aric Bowens, a cousin of Shawn Bowens and another grandson of the victim, spoke on behalf of his grandmother, who was hospitalized Monday. He told Rothgery that his grandmother and the rest of his family wanted Shawn Bowens to receive the maximum sentence of 76 years in prison.

“(Velma Bowens) was left for dead in her bedroom,” Aric Bowens said. “She would’ve given him money for anything except money for drugs. Now she uses a walker and her hearing, sight and memory have all been affected.”

Shawn Bowens initially told police that he was at a neighbor’s house when his grandmother was attacked, and family members said after the sentencing that although he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder, felonious assault and aggravated burglary on Oct. 17, he still tells them that he had nothing to do with the beating.

Shawn Bowens also was sentenced in conjunction with two other cases, in which he also pleaded guilty to kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and robbery. Once released from prison, he’ll be on probation for five years.

After the sentencing, emotions between Aric Bowens and his cousin boiled over as Shawn Bowens was led out of the courtroom.

“I’ll see you in 15 years, chump,” Aric Bowens called out.

Shawn Bowens responded that he’d “be back soon.”

Following the sentencing, Aric Bowens said he was unhappy with the duration of the sentence. He cursed his cousin and said he hoped he has a hard time in prison.

“He knocked 10 to 15 years off my grandmother’s life,” he said. “Hopefully, justice will come to him in prison.”

Geneieve Todd, the victim’s daughter and Shawn Bowens’ aunt, said that every bone in her mother’s face was broken as a result of the attack, and that her mental condition has worsened after spending more than two months in the hospital.

“He beat her like he was beating a man,” she said. “Her own grandson beat her like that? We wanted justice. We didn’t get it.”

Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.