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Charles Glover pleaded guilty to shooting Reginald Bowles in Stewartsville.
JOEL HAWKSLEY | The Roanoke Times
Charles Edward Glover (left) pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bedford Circuit Court to murder, use of a firearm, and arson in the April 2012 shooting of Reginald Perry Bowles. Glover suspected his wife of having an affair with Bowles.
JOEL HAWKSLEY | The Roanoke Times
People in the courtroom react after Charles Edward Glover pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bedford Circuit Court in the death of Reginald Perry Bowles. Glover, 44, was sentenced to 43 years in prison.
Reginald Perry “Reggie” Bowles
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
A highly emotional crime — the fatal shooting and mutilation last year of a Stewartsville man — led to a highly emotional resolution Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court.
Openly hoping to avoid a life sentence, Charles Edward Glover tearfully pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, arson and firearms charges, and was given a flat 43-year prison term.
Barring death or geriatric release, the 44-year-old home maintenance contractor from Goodview likely will remain in prison for almost as long as he has been alive.
“He effectively got a life sentence,” Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz said after the hearing.
Glover has admitted that on April 10 he went to the home of Reginald Perry “Reggie” Bowles, a friend he was convinced was having an affair with his wife.
Not long after that, fire crews responded to Bowles’ property in the 8500 block of Jeters Chapel Road in Stewartsville and found a critically wounded man, Bowles, lying in the driveway with gunshot and knife wounds.
By that time, however, Glover had already moved on to the Washington Avenue house of his mother-in-law where, according to Krantz, he told his estranged wife: “I shot Reggie nine times and cut his [penis] off.”
Glover also had used gasoline to set Bowles’ bed on fire, and started a blaze in his garage.
Krantz said Glover, who was still armed when he confronted his wife, told her he was going to kill himself, but Krantz said she slapped Glover’s .22-caliber pistol out of his hand and fled. Glover was taken into custody soon afterward by Vinton police.
The victim was shot largely in the area of the head, neck, face, chest and shoulders. At some point during the attack, Glover used a knife to mutilate Bowles’ genitals, an act Glover later claimed he didn’t recall.
“It was possible the amputation had occurred while the victim was still alive,” Krantz said, but he believed Bowles was unconscious by that point.
During the investigation, Glover claimed that voices in his head had been urging him to kill Bowles for some time, and he said those same voices also suggested he murder his wife, a notion he resisted, Krantz said.
“I will not hurt a hair on her pretty head,” Glover told police, according to Krantz, who added that Glover’s wife told investigators afterward she had not been having an affair with Bowles.
“Love is a powerful emotion,” Assistant Public Defender Michael Lonchar declared during Glover’s hearing. “Unfortunately, this is also a case of how that love can go wrong.”
He called Glover’s 43-year sentence “appropriate.”
“The evidence is overwhelmingly favorable to the Commonwealth,” Lonchar told Judge James Updike at the hearing. He said his plea offer had been motivated by a concern that if the case went to trial, a jury would “focus on gory photos,” but he added that his client was also genuinely attempting to make amends.
“Mr. Glover has been remorseful in this matter from the very beginning,” he said.
Weeping throughout the hearing, Glover eventually stood and spoke shakily, but directly, to Bowles’ family.
“I’m so sorry for taking your son. I didn’t mean for this to happen,” he told them. “He was my best friend. I thought the world of him.
“I’m sorry my wife put us in this predicament.”
Glover’s attack on Bowles didn’t occur entirely without warning.
Krantz said last year, after Glover was indicted, that Glover had told others he was going to kill Bowles, but his threats went unreported because he said at least one friend “didn’t put any stock in it.”
The two men previously had clashed on a public road in December 2011, and Bowles had filed for an emergency protective order against Glover, according to court records.
Glover also has been charged by Vinton police with related counts of abduction, burglary, violating a protective order and additional firearms charges. He’s due to face those charges in Roanoke County Circuit Court next month.
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