More details about the investigation of the murder of Nicole Bowen were learned Wednesday (April 10).
Jasmine N. Parker, 34 years old of Kentland; Ashley N. Garth, 26 years old of Delphi; and Christopher Channing Mathis, 27 of Kentland, all made their initial appearance in court. Talitha Beckley, the fifth person that has been charged in the March 29 murder of Nicole Bowen, made her first appearance in court Monday (April 15).
Garett K. Kirts, 21 of Lebanon, made his initial appearance in Newton County Superior Court April 5, where Newton County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Drinski filed one count of homicide against Kirts along with notice to seek life without parole based on the aggravating circumstance that Kirts allegedly tortured Bowen while she was still alive. He is being held at the Newton County Jail without bond. A not guilty plead was entered for him and he asked for a public defender. An Omnibus hearing has been set for June 12 at 8:30 a.m.
Mathis, who taken into custody by investigators from the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office April 8, has been charged with assisting a criminal in connection to Bowen’s death. According to the court proceeding Wednesday morning, Mathis allegedly hindered the apprehension of Kirts and helped with the disposal of Bowen’s body.
A search warrant was issued by the Newton Superior Court for the search of the apartment of Britney Garrity, 27 of Zionsville, Indiana. Mathis was found hiding under a bed in the upstairs of the apartment.
Parker and Garth, who have also been arrested and charged with assisting a criminal in connection to Bowen’s death, also allegedly hindered the apprehension of Kirts and helped conceal the murder of Bowen.
Newton County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Drinski is seeking the habitual offender-sentencing enhancement for Mathis and Parker.
Garth, Parker, and Mathis have all asked for a public defender and an Omnibus hearing has been set in all three cases for June 28 at 8:30 a.m.
Parker and Garth are being held in the Newton County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond, while Mathis is being held on $50,000 bond because of being a potential flight risk.
Newton County Drug Task Force Investigator Vince Lowe testified Wednesday that prior to the arrest of Mathis he posted on social media that he intended to leave the state and head to Texas.
Drinski also told the Newton County Enterprise that additional charges may be coming against Mathis, Parker, and Garth pending the results of DNA testing, which he said will probably take months.