Murder suspect’s bond set at $200,000

 Brian Bowens talks with his attorney, Carter Hitt, during Tuesday’s hearing in West Point Municipal Court.
Staff Writer

A murder suspect’s bond is set at $200,000 but if Brian Alexander Bowens is able to make that, he’ll have to wear an ankle monitor and abide by a number of other conditions pending his next court dates, a judge decided Tuesday.

Bowens has been in jail since September, held without bond after West Point City Judge Bennie Jones decided the crime was too serious to consider bond at that time.

The 27-year-old also was facing a probation revocation for prior felony convictions.

Tuesday, his attorney, Carter Hitt, of Oxford, asked City Judge Mark Cliett to set a bond.

After a lengthy discussion, Cliett agreed to the $200,000 figure but required the ankle monitor, prohibited him from having any contact with witnesses or the family of the victim, and banned him from leaving Clay County.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, but that was reset until late April, after the Clay County Grand Jury considers the charges.

Bowens turned himself in to authorities in September on murder charges stemming from the Aug. 19 shooting death of 26-year-old Aaron Lamar Fenton near where Bowens lived at 763 Fifth St. N.

Fenton was shot at about 12:30 p.m. and found lying in Fifth Street near the intersection with Progress Street.

He died later at North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point.

During a hearing in September, West Point Police Det. Ramirez Ivy said Bowens had contacted Police Chief Avery Cook the week of the shooting, promising to turn himself in, but didn't.

He called again on Sept. 11, again promising to turn himself in. He called again on Sept. 13 and did come in that day, said Ivy, the lead investigator in the case.

Bowens has suggested he acted in self-defense.

Bowens is no stranger to the courts with drug convictions dating back to April 2016 and July 2017.

His record also includes a six-month sentence in Florida for possession of a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor marijuana possession conviction in Florida and traffic violations in both Mississippi and Florida.

Also in city court Tuesday, a preliminary hearing for 18-year-old Jaitwan Dontrell Rogers on drive-by shooting charges was reset for Jan. 22. He is charged with shooting at an empty car along a city street Christmas Eve. The shooting may have been in retaliation for the drive-by shooting of his mother’s home in Starkville the night before.

Police think Rogers may have thought someone was in the car.