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Man Convicted of Killing Girlfriend During Drunken Rage Sentenced to 40 years to life in prison


Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Issue 14, Volume 17.


RIVERSIDE - A Menifee man who fatally shot his girlfriend in the head during a drunken rage was sentenced today to 40 years to life in prison. Adam Michael Starkey was convicted April 3 of first-degree murder, along with a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation and a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing a firearm, for the Jan. 24, 2012, slaying of 38-year-old Jennifer Bowers. Jurors deliberated one day before returning the verdicts. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gary Tranbarger imposed the sentence required by law for the murder but suspended sentencing for the illegal possession of a firearm count, which called for an additional year behind bars. According to the District Attorney's Office, Starkey shot Bowers with a .38-caliber Colt revolver while holding the barrel less than two inches from her forehead. The couple had been drinking heavily and squabbling in the hours leading up to the shooting, according to trial testimony. Starkey, 32, told sheriff's investigators that at one point he walked out of the single-wide trailer with his pistol and fired all six rounds the Colt could hold into the ground to vent his anger. Deputy District Attorney Natale Pitre alleged Starkey went back into the trailer moments later, reloaded the gun, then approached Bowers and shot her once at point-blank range. Starkey called 911 and reported the shooting. At the time of his arrest, his blood-alcohol level was .23 -- almost three times above the legal limit to drive in California. Deputy Public Defender Michael Micallef argued the gun went off accidentally because of mishandling, including from having the wrong type of ammunition loaded into the chamber. Starkey and Bowers worked together at a retail outlet and had been dating for about a year. According to court records, the defendant had a misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence in 2008. One of the terms of his probation Advertisement
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was that he not own a gun for a minimum of 10 years.

***Previous Story***

RIVERSIDE - A Menifee man who fatally shot his girlfriend during an alcohol-fueled altercation was convicted today of first-degree murder. Adam Michael Starkey is expected to receive 50 years to life in prison for the Jan. 24, 2012, slaying 38-year-old Jennifer Bowers. Jurors deliberated one day before finding Starkey guilty of the murder count, as well as a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation and a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing a firearm. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gary Tranbarger set sentencing for May 1. The defendant shot Bowers with a .38-caliber Colt revolver while holding the barrel less than two inches from her forehead. The couple had been drinking heavily and squabbling in the hours leading up to the shooting, according to trial testimony. Starkey, 32, told sheriff's investigators that at one point he walked out of the single-wide trailer with his pistol and fired all six rounds the Colt could hold into the ground to release his anger. Deputy District Attorney Natale Pitre told jurors that Starkey went back into the trailer moments later, reloaded the gun, then approached Bowers and shot her once at point-blank range. Starkey called 911 and reported the shooting. At the time of his arrest, his blood-alcohol level was .23 -- almost three times over the legal limit to drive in California. Deputy Public Defender Michael Micallef argued the gun went off accidentally because of mishandling, including from having the wrong type of ammunition loaded into the chamber. Starkey and Bowers worked together at a Target store and had been dating for about a year. According to court records, the defendant has a misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence in 2008. One of the terms of his probation was that he not own a gun for a minimum of 10 years.


 

1 comments

Comment Profile ImageFallbrook res.
Comment #1 | Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 1:08 am
Lesson #1. If anyone you're with, goes near a gun while drinking; go home!
Lesson #2. If you drink that much ever, get some help.
Lesson #3. If being together doesn't make you a better person, move on.
I'm sorry family and friends had to go through this loss. Sad all the way around.
It sounds like he needed help a long time ago.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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