Jamal Rashad Rogers and Antonio Valentine Mathis, both 22, were arraigned on May 29, 2012, for the abduction and assault of Rogers’ former girlfriend, Latonya Bowman, 22, who was pregnant with Rogers’ child. It seems that Rogers, who already has two other children, 3 and 1, and is expecting a child with another woman, wasn’t too happy about being a father with Bowman. He allegedly planned, with his roommate Mathis, to terminate Bowman and the pregnancy. Once Bowman entered her ninth month, Rogers feigned attempts at a reconciliation, the purpose of which was to get Bowman alone at his house. Hours before her May 26 abduction, Home Depot surveillance footage caught Rogers buying gloves, tape and rope.
On arrival Bowman was told to pull into Rogers’ garage, where, police believe, Mathis put a gun to her head, taped her eyes and mouth shut, and tied her hands. Rogers allegedly returned to the house, while Mathis drove Bowman from Warren, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, towards the city. Rogers may have sent some texts to Bowman during this time to cover for himself, but police are not elaborating on this point, and her phone has not been recovered. According to Louis Galasso, police deputy commissioner of Warren, “As they are driving he makes a reference to her pregnancy and says, ‘You know why I am doing this’ and asks how far along she was in her pregnancy. He stopped the car, doused Bowman with lighter fluid and set her on fire.” Galasso continued describing the grisly scene, “She was able to roll out of the vehicle and tries to extinguish herself on the ground and hears two gunshots. One hits her in the upper back and she plays dead.” Mathis left the scene. No word on whether a third person picked up Mathis.
Having been left for dead, Bowman managed to drive herself to a service station and call her mother. Galasso described her injuries as “significant and [the burns] resulted in a lot of blistering,” Galasso said. “They are all over her arms, chest and back.” When questioned, she told police she did not know her attackers. Bowman gave birth prematurely Tuesday at an undisclosed hospital location, and is expected the recover. Though her family reportedly fears retaliation. The newborn was placed in intensive care. Hours later Rogers and Mathis were arraigned on charges of on kidnapping, attempted murder and conspiracy charges. Both suspects have previous criminal convictions: Mathis for possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting and obstructing police; and Rogers for unarmed robbery. They were denied bail and will remain in custody until at least June 7, the date of their next hearing.
Galasso summed up the case nicely saying, “There is not a scintilla of any mitigating events in this case. It is nothing more than a disturbing, diabolic scheme put together by two individuals.”