‘I’ll keep you in my prayers,’ beating victim tells burglar at plea hearing

The third of three men accused in a Metairie residential burglary during which a 61-year-old woman was brutally beaten admitted his guilt on Wednesday (Aug. 10) and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ronald Bowman, 38, of Marrero, pleaded guilty as charged to aggravated burglary for his role in the Oct. 14 crime in the 3500 block of Bissonet Drive. Bowman and two cohorts went to the residence posing as workers and then forced their way inside, knocking the woman to the ground.

At least one of the men beat and kicked her, causing injuries that required hospitalization. After a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy entered the Bissonet Drive home in responding to a 911 call, Bowman ran out the back door but was captured blocks away.

Although Bowman pleaded guilty, he denied physically attacking the woman. The assertion prompted 24th Judicial District Court Judge Stephen Enright to warn Bowman that he could withdraw the guilty plea and proceed to trial. Bowman moved forward with the plea.

The victim’s son, John Herrin, told Bowman in impact testimony that his mother was frail and unable to defend herself against the attackers.

“You could have killed my mother, and you’d be looking at a lot more than 15 (years in prison),” Herrin testified. “You should feel remorse and sorry for your actions.”

He said his mother remains traumatized by the attack. “She’s a strong woman,” Herrin said. “She’ll bounce back. … My mother holds no resentment toward you. I don’t hate you.”

Bowman nodded in agreement with Herrin and afterward expressed remorse. “I truly want to apologize to the nice lady,” Bowman told the court.

The victim sat in the front row in the courtroom’s gallery. “God bless you, and I’ll keep you in my prayers,” she told Bowman.

Bowman replied, “God bless you, too.”

The victim offered similar blessings to Bowman’s two codefendants, Allen Narcisse and Terry McCall. Both men have expressed remorse for their actions.

Narcisse, 38, of Kenner, whom the victim is certain beat her, was sentenced on Monday to 20 years in prison. He pleaded guilty last month to aggravated burglary, aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest by force or violence.

McCall, 29, of Westwego, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and was sentenced to 15 years in prison on March 17.

Bowman, who already is confined to a state prison, appeared in court for a pretrial motion hearing on Wednesday. The guilty plea was unexpected.

Eight days after the crime, Bowman pleaded guilty in the 24th Judicial District Court to an unrelated narcotics charge. He received a five-year prison sentence, which he is serving at the River Correctional Center in Concordia Parish, from where he was transported on Wednesday to the Jefferson Parish courthouse in Gretna.

Assistant District Attorney Angad Ghai prosecuted all three cases.

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