Fla. v. Bowman: Mom kills biker boyfriend
September 14, 2004
(Court TV) — Jody Lynn Bowman and her two
daughters were living with her boyfriend George Jupin, a
drug-dealing, pierced, tattooed biker who had a penchant for porn.
On Jan. 20, 2003, Bowman shot and killed Jupin,
40, as he lay in their bed — but she claimed she had good reason:
She caught him molesting her 3-year-old daughter.
But prosecutors charged that Bowman fabricated
the story, and that she murdered him in cold blood, motivated by a
fear he was going to leave her.
The 34-year-old Florida woman was tried for
second-degree murder before a Brevard County jury in March 2004.
She faced life in prison if convicted.
Jody Lynn Bowman was suspicious of her
boyfriend after her younger daughter, Maddie, told her that Jupin
played a "bear game" with her. When Bowman asked her what the bear
game was, Maddie told her that George made her lie on the bed and
touched her "girlfriend." Bowman explained that "girlfriend" was
the name she and Maddie used to refer to her genital area, because
she was in toilet training.
Not sure about what to do, Bowman kept Maddie
under close watch.
The following day, she and Jupin were scheduled
to go on a motorcycle trip with their friend John Bruyere and
Bruyere's girlfriend. Bruyere, an ex-convict and former drug
addict and motorcycle gang member, said he earned the nickname
"Booster" by stealing tractor trailers. He lived in New Jersey but
frequently visited the couple in Florida.
According to Bowman, she tried to talk to
Bruyere about her daughter's allegations, but that he kept putting
her off, saying they would discuss it later.
Finally, when Bowman said she couldn't contain
the information much longer, she told both Jupin and Bruyere.
Jupin became very angry and defensive, according to Bowman, but he
also reassured her that he loved Maddie and would not do anything
to harm her. Bowman said she believed him. She said they returned
from the three-day motorcycle trip, and things seemed to return to
The following week, on Jan. 20, 2003, Bowman
was not feeling well, and while her 9-year-old daughter, Sarah,
went off to school, she kept Maddie home from day care. Jupin was
home as well, and, according to Bowman, had not left the bedroom
following a drug binge.
She left Maddie watching television in the
Florida room and went off to do household chores, but while
cleaning she realized the little girl was not where she left her.
When she tried to go into her bedroom, she observed that it was
locked. The bedroom was normally locked because drugs, guns, and
knives were often kept in that room. Bowman sought the key for the
door, which was kept on a key chain on top the refrigerator.
She said that when she opened the door, she
observed that Jupin was on the bed wearing nothing but her
underwear, masturbating within arm's reach of her naked daughter.
Horrified, Bowman said she grabbed Maddie, took her outside and
zipped her up in a pup tent. She said Jupin hollered after her,
"You better not f---in' tell anyone, no one will believe you." She
claims Jupin also threatened to pour acid on her genitalia.
Bowman said she returned armed with a 9mm
handgun to protect herself. She wanted to question him about why
he would do that to her daughter. She said he taunted her and then
lunged toward her. Convinced she would not leave the house alive,
Bowman said she pulled the trigger and shot Jupin dead.
After the shooting, she returned to Maddie and
said she told her Jupin would never hurt her again.
That afternoon, she picked Sarah up from
school. Bowman said she was so traumatized after the shooting, it
was a wonder she didn't get into an accident that day because she
was numb. She slept with the girls that night and avoided going
back into the master bedroom, where Jupin lay dead.
The next day she took both girls to school. She
called Bruyere and told him what happened and said he advised her
to get the firearms and drugs out of the house and told her that
he was on his way. Bruyere called their friend William Lane, who
finally called police.
Bowman was arrested for first-degree murder,
but the charge was later reduced to second-degree murder after the
evidence showed there was no heightened premeditation.
Both the victim and the defendant had colorful
pasts, details of which emerged during testimony.
George Jupin made a living selling jewelry,
motorcycles, and drugs. He served a stint in prison for armed
robbery. According to his friends and relatives, he went to prison
for beating an accused child molester, proof of how offended he
was by such behavior.
Once he was out of prison, ex-girlfriend Tina
Mastandrea said he tried to remain on a straight path, and the two
opened a jewelry business together. But drugs tempted him back
into a life of crime, she said.
Friends describe him as tough, gentle and
lovable. One prosecution witness said he liked to refer to himself
as a "big ol' bear."
While friends say there was a soft side to him,
it was not reflected in his physical appearance.
His muscular body was covered in tattoos
depicting demon-like creatures and gothic battle scenes. He also
sported a swastika over his chest and the words "Hardcore
Choppers," on the side of his neck, a reflection of his passion
Almost every part of his body bore a bold
tattoo, including one on the inside of his lip. His nipples were
pierced with silver rings and lead bullets dangled from them.
Jupin was on parole when he met Jody Lynn
Bowman at the end of 2001, the same year she divorced her second
husband. Bowman had one daughter, Sarah, with first husband John
Herndon in 1992. Maddie, born in 1999, was a product of her second
By April 2002, Jupin and Bowman had moved in
together with her daughters.
Investigators describe the Micco, Fla., home as
an illegal drug emporium. A search of the residence uncovered
heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and prescription
drugs such as OxyContin. Jupin was selling and abusing many of
these drugs. His autopsy report revealed metabolites from cocaine
use and other controlled substances. Even Jupin's friends admitted
Jupin often went on drug binges that lasted for days.
But while his friends agreed he was a
drug-dealing, philandering racist, they vehemently denied he was a
The State's Case
Prosecutors had no trouble proving Jody Lynn
Bowman shot her boyfriend to death, because Bowman herself
admitted it. But while Bowman claimed she killed to protect
herself and her daughter, prosecutor Rob Parker argued that even
assuming the molestation occurred, Bowman had already managed to
get her daughter out of the house and out of harm's way.
But Parker contended Bowman lied about her
daughter being abused, and that she fabricated the story to
justify the shooting. He argued Bowman murdered her boyfriend
because he was planning to leave her.
The prosecution said Bowman even dressed her
boyfriend's corpse in her own panties after she shot and killed
Friends of the couple testified for the state
that Bowman was not a good parent, and that it was Jupin who cared
for the girls. Babysitters observed that Maddie suffered from such
severe diaper rash that there were open sores, causing her to
resist having her diaper changed.
While the prosecution acknowledges the victim
was no angel, they alleged Bowman was also abusing drugs and
alcohol and was an active part of Jupin's drug dealing business.
The star witness for the prosecution was none other than John
Bruyere, who claimed that when Bowman called him following the
shooting, she asked him for help getting rid of the body.
Bruyere admitted he wanted Bowman to get the
guns and drugs out of the house before calling police, but did so
because he was concerned about the children's safety and didn't
want her to get into any more trouble.
Bruyere also testified about the motorcycle
trip he went on with Bowman and Jupin shortly before the shooting.
He said Bowman accused Jupin of molesting her daughter, but that
the allegations emerged when she "liquored up." Furthermore,
Bruyere testified Bowman had accused other men of molesting
Maddie, thus suggesting the defendant had a pattern of making
false accusations of molestation when she was drunk.
The medical examiner testified the victim had
suffered nine wounds, including several to the abdomen that were
survivable and one lethal shot to the head. He testified the head
wound was inflicted while the victim was still alive.
Crime scene experts testified about several
items, including a bed sheet, bathrobe, pillow and shirt that
appeared to be bloodstained. The items were found in the laundry
room, supporting the prosecution's notion that someone had started
to clean up the crime scene.
The prosecution conceded that there were
unanswered questions, but argued that the forensic evidence did
not support Bowman's claim of self-defense. Prosecutors pointed to
her odd behavior after the shooting: her failure to call police,
her call to Bruyere and her own admission that she got Maddie out
of the house before the shooting. Parker asked the jury to convict
her of second-degree murder.
A jury of three men and three women deliberated
for nine hours before acquitting Jody Lynn Bowman.
Prosecutors had offered Bowman a plea deal in
which she could avoid a life sentence by pleading guilty in
exchange for a 25-year term, but she turned it down.
Bowman's first husband, John Herndon, has
long-term custody of Sarah, his biological daughter by Bowman, but
he is also seeking custody of Maddie.