Crime

Man who punched and killed another outside Bellingham Drop-In Center sent to prison

Washington state crimes by the numbers

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.
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The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.

An Alaska man who punched another man, killing him, outside the Lighthouse Mission Ministry’s Drop-In Center in late February will spend the next seven years in prison.

Clint Ray Bowen, 48, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday, Aug. 1, in Whatcom County Superior Court. Bowen was originally charged with second-degree assault for the punch, and later second-degree murder after the man he hit died, according to court records. Bowen also will serve 1½ years on probation.

William D. Davis, 52, died March 5, a week after he was hospitalized with injuries after he was punched in the face by Bowen on Feb. 25 and fell onto the sidewalk and hit his head outside the overnight emergency homeless shelter on West Holly Street. The incident, which was shown clearly on surveillance footage, began when Bowen threatened to headbutt people over cigarettes, court records state.

“Although we were able to acknowledge the behavior was negligent as to the death, it was violent and his decision to be violent toward someone, the consequences that follow that decision were deserving for Mr. Bowen,” Whatcom County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jones said, adding that that was the reason Bowen was given an exceptional sentence above the standard range.

An autopsy found that Davis had an enlarged heart, which could have contributed to his heart stopping after being punched, court records state.

Bowen has previous criminal history including a second-degree assault conviction and several misdemeanor assault convictions out of Alaska, according to Jones. He had been in Bellingham a short amount of time before the assault, Jones said.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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