Garett K. Kirts perp walk

Photo by GREGORY MYERS

Garett K. Kirts is shown being brought into the Newton County Courthouse for his first appearance.

A planned altercation between two females led to the murder of Nicole Bowen, whose body was found in the area of CR 1275 S east of CR 600 W northwest of Kentland on March 30.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed against, Garett Kirts, police believe the murder occurred in Lot 20 of the Kentland Trailer Court.

After a signed Miranda Warnings waiver, Kirts told police that his current girlfriend Ashley Garth (26 of Delphi, has been charged with assisting a criminal in connection to Bowen’s death) had problems with Bowen. Kirts went on to say that Garth was already at the trailer (lot 20) and he was driving Bowen there so they could hash it out or fight it out.

The probable cause affidavit states that as soon as Bowen arrived and entered the trailer, she didn’t feel comfortable but an argument and physical fight occurred. Kirts then told police that he grabbed Bowen from behind and placed his right arm around her neck and applied pressure for several minutes, causing her to collapse and go unconscious. Kirts than stated that he did not want Bowen to wake up, so he tied a scarf around her neck tightly. Kirts also added that a brown extension cord was also tied tightly around her neck and that it was tied so tight that it caused the cord end to break.

Kirts added that he then placed tape over her mouth, a plastic bag over her head, bound her hands behind her back and feet with tape. He then wrapped her body in a grey blanket and wrapped tape around her body and blanket.

Kirts confirmed to police during the interrogation that he loaded Bowen’s body into the trunk of a vehicle.

Also according to the probable cause affidavit, Kirts informed police that he contacted Chris Mathis to help dispose of the body. Kirts left the trailer and picked up Mathis at his residence in Kentland and drove around the country until they discovered an area containing a shipping container and an excavator nearby. Kirts told police that he realized with the excavator on the same road, the road had to be traveled and Bowen’s body would be located. Kirts drove into the field and he and Mathis removed Bowen’s body from the truck and carried her body to the shipping type container and laid her on the wooden floor.

Police state that during Kirts’ interrogation, details about the trailer, vehicle, condition, and details of Bowen’s body during recovery and autopsy were consistent with the investigation.

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Kirts is facing one count of homicide and Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Drinski has filed notice that he is seeking life without parole based on the aggravating circumstance that Kirts allegedly tortured Bowen while she was still alive.

Mathis has been also charged with assisting a criminal in connection to Bowen’s death, as were Jasmine Parker, 34 years old of Kentland, and Talitha Beckley, 36 of Monticello.

Drinski also told the Newton County Enterprise that additional charges may be coming against Mathis, Parker, Beckley, and Garth pending the results of DNA testing, which he said will probably take months.