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Fruitland man sentenced in crash

The Daily Times staff
Crime

FARMINGTON – A 29-year-old Fruitland man was sentenced Wednesday to more than six years in federal prison for his involuntary manslaughter conviction, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Farrell Bowman was arrested earlier this year on allegations he killed two Native American men in an alcohol-related crash on July 3, 2014, on Navajo Route 36 in Upper Fruitland. Bowman allegedly caused the crash after his Chrysler sedan swerved into oncoming traffic, striking the Toyota Scion occupied by the two victims, according to a criminal complaint.

All three men were transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center. At the hospital, Bowman's blood-alcohol content was tested and found to be 0.41, more than five times the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle in New Mexico, the complaint states.

Bowman was interviewed by detectives on Aug. 28, 2014, and admitted he consumed possibly nine or 10 cans of beer on the night of the crash, according to the affidavit. Bowman told detectives the last thing he remembered before the crash was watching the Fourth of July fireworks in Farmington.

Bowman pleaded guilty on Aug. 12 this year to involuntary manslaughter in a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. He was sentenced to six years and two months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

Bowman said in a letter to the court filed on Nov. 20 that one of the men killed in the crash was his bus driver in grade school, and he was "deeply sorry" for his actions.

Bowman further said his sister and her three children were killed in a car crash when they came from Salt Lake City to visit him at the hospital.

"I cried and I was in pain and I knew how the pain felt for the family of the victims in my incident that has happen," Bowman wrote.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.