James Arthur Bowden, who was enraged after being dumped by his girlfriend Haley McHam, killed her mother and daughter in 2017. He also murdered an Arkansas sheriff’s lieutenant. If you want to know more about this murder case, then keep on reading.
Who Is Haley McHam?
Haley McHam is a 32-year-old certified nursing assistant who works at Stella Manor. She lives in Dardanelle, Arkansas and attended Dardanelle High School.
For a year, McHam was employed as a food service worker at the University of Arkansas. McHam is also known by her nickname Haylo.
According to her Facebook page, McHam got married to Matt McHam on April 28, 2007.
The Victims: Rita Miller and Ciera Miller
McHam’s mother, Rita Carol Miller, was born in 1956. She also attended Dardanelle High School. At the time of her death, Rita was 61 years old.
McHam’s daughter, Ciera Chyanne Miller, was born in 1999. Judging from her Facebook account, Ciera was a big fan of anime.
When she was murdered, Ciera was only 17 years old and about to graduate from high school.
Who Is James Arthur Bowden?
James Arthur Bowden, 43, of Arkansas has two sons and a daughter. His sister, Julie Inmon, told the press that Bowden has taken anti-psychotic medication and anti-depressants for his mental illness.
Bowden’s relationship with McHam was tempestuous and abusive. McHam told the press, “All [Rita] ever wanted was for me to get away from him.”
The Horrible Crimes That Claimed the Lives of Three People
James Arthur Bowden fatally shot Yell County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Mainhart, 46, during a traffic stop on May 11, 2017. Bowden shot Mainhart in Dardanelle, about 65 miles west of Little Rock.
Mainhart was responding to a call about a disturbance at Rita’s home when he saw a vehicle linked to the address and asked the driver to stop. Bowden’s father, James Bowden Sr., told the press that the authorities were called to the house because Bowden and McHam had been fighting.
Mainhart had worked as an officer in Yell County for five years and for the West Memphis Police Department for more than 20 years.
When other officers responded to the first call about a disturbance at Rita’s home, they found the bodies of Rita and Ciera in the front yard. After shooting three people, Bowden hid out in the house where he was holding McHam hostage.
Inmon said that she spoke to Bowden over the phone during the standoff. He disclosed that he went to McHam’s mother’s house because McHam hadn’t come home to him the previous night.
She helped police negotiate with her brother during the standoff. “It was very hard,” she said. “He didn’t want to come out. He thought that he’d be shot.”
After a five-hour standoff at the house near Dardanelle, Bowden finally surrendered to the police. McHam fled the house about half an hour before Bowden surrendered.
After her release, McHam said that Bowden was furious because she didn’t want to be with him anymore. She said she was able to escape from the house after Bowden took pain pills, became drowsy, and went to the garage to grab some food.
McHam said, “He shot my mother four times and then my daughter once in the chest and he came in and told me it was my fault. He said if I had come home they would still be alive and that I was going to have to live with it.”
McHam said she wasn’t expecting Bowden to hurt her mother and daughter. “I thought he would only kill me but he didn’t. He took bigger pieces, he took my family,” she said.
In the wake of the murders, Haley McHam urged other women to leave their abusive partners.
Once he surrendered, James Arthur Bowden was imprisoned on three counts of capital murder. He initially pleaded not guilty.
However, on June 23, 2017, Bowden appeared in a Yell County courtroom and pleaded guilty to all three counts. He evaded the death penalty and was handed a life sentence.
After entering the plea, he said, “I’m really sorry about what happened. I can’t be forgiven, so I won’t ask.”
Inmon said her family was “very sorry” and that they “never expected anything of this caliber to happen.”