MIAMI COUNTY — On Monday, Miami County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Gee sentenced Frank Bowen, 26, of Tipp City, to serve 18 years to life in prison for the brutal killing of Joseph Graley III, 31, of New Carlisle — a friend who took Bowen in his home when he had nowhere else to go in October of 2014.
Bowen did not comment during the hearing. Bowen also displayed no emotion at any time during the sentencing.
Bowen was sentenced to serve a mandatory 15 years to life for the murder of Graley. He also was sentenced to serve 12 months concurrently for both gross abuse of a corpse and safe-cracking charges. Judge Gee ordered Bowen to serve 36 months consecutive to the murder charge for tampering with evidence for a total of 18 years to life. Bowen received 410 days of jail credit for his time served.
Judge Gee noted Bowen has shown no remorse and his conduct revealed “a degree of callousness and depravity that offends all civil sensibility” and found his lack of remorse shows he is a clear danger to the public.
“Joe Graley was the kind of person who would help anyone, even a stranger, who was in need,” Judge Gee said prior to sentencing. “Within days of moving in Joe Graley’s home, you murdered the man who extended to you his kindness and his home. After using a sledgehammer to brutally bludgeon the life out of Joe, you covered his body with sticks, boards and other waste and debris, leaving it in Joe’s own backyard to decay, exposed to animals and the elements.”
Judge Gee noted that Graley’s body and face was unrecognizable when it was finally discovered by authorities on Oct. 23, 2014.
“At the same time, you continued to live in his house, eat his food, watch his TV, steal his possessions and play his video games. When Joe’s family and friends expressed concern and asked for your help to help find Joe, you repeatedly lied to conceal from them the brutal murder you committed,” Judge Gee said.
Prosecutor Kendell asked for the court to sentence Bowen to the maximum possible sentence to protect the public.
“In the 20 plus years that I’ve done this, in talking in terms of blunt force trauma homicide, this is the most alarming and most egregious case that I’ve ever dealt with,” Miami County Prosecutor Anthony Kendell said. “This is just a despicable set of facts done by a despicable human being.”
Graley’s mother Terri Coburn and friend Billie Ann Eason addressed the court the loss Graley’s friends and family have experienced following his murder.
“I can’t see him. I can’t hug him. I can’t see his face and tell him how much I love him ever again,” Coburn said. “Frank Bowen has shown no respect for my son or no remorse for his actions.”
A jury found Bowen guilty of murder on January 19 after four hours of deliberations during the five-day trial.
Bowen did not testify on his own behalf.
In August 2015, a jury found Bowen guilty of safe-cracking, but failed to reach an agreement on the other three charges.
Graley, of New Carlisle, was found deceased by blunt force trauma to the head and face in the backyard of his home on Scarff Road in Bethel Township on Oct. 23, 2014. A friend reported Graley missing on Oct. 22. Sheriff’s officials located Bowen, now 26, of Tipp City, at Graley’s home during Graley’s welfare check on Oct. 22 and arrested him on an unrelated warrant.
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