After a year in jail, man accused of killing sister and brother-in-law could have a chance at making bail

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Oct. 18—It's been just over a year since a Waldo couple were shot to death in their home, allegedly at the hands of victim Tina Bowden's brother, Glenn Brown.

Brown, 67, who was charged last October with murdering Bowden and her husband, Richard Bowden, has been in police custody since his arrest. But next week, there will be a hearing at the Waldo Judicial Center in Belfast to determine whether or not the court will set bail in his case and allow him the chance to get out of jail until his murder trial.

Jeffrey Silverstein and Kaylee Folster, both of Bangor, are Brown's new court-appointed attorneys. Silverstein said Monday that he doesn't know why there wasn't a prior bail hearing, but believes it is appropriate to hold one now. The bail hearing is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28.

"There's nothing in his background that suggests he would be a flight risk," he said.

Despite the gravity of the murder charges, which could lead to a life sentence for Brown if convicted, the attorneys also don't believe that their client poses a danger to the community.

"It is apparent that the individuals who were deceased were close to him, meaning family members," Silverstein said. "There's no indication that he presents a risk to the community at large, as a general matter. To the extent that there's concern about other family members, the facts of the cases suggest that there will be [no risks posed to them.]"

In other words, this was a family matter.

According to police documents filed at the time of Brown's arrest, the murder of the Bowden's was connected to a family feud over the estate of Brown and Tina Bowden's stepfather.

Brown, who turned himself in to police, initially told officers he thought he had shot somebody, then said he had shot "two exotic birds." When pressed by police about where the shooting happened, he said it was in the area of his sister Tina Bowden's house in Waldo.

Officers rushed there, where they found Tina Bowden dead and Richard Bowden showing only "faint signs of life." Richard Bowden was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, where he was pronounced dead.

After Brown's arrest, he invoked his right to not answer questions from detectives. In August of this year, his defense attorneys asked the court to suppress all the evidence obtained from Brown on Oct. 5, 2020, the day of the homicide, and the subsequent search of his vehicle on Oct. 8, 2020.

They said that Brown was subject to an "unreasonable detention and warrantless search" in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

The night of the murders, investigators talked to Glenn Brown's brother, Mitchell Brown, who told them that several siblings had been involved in "an ongoing civil battle" with Tina Bowden over their stepfather's estate.

According to Mitchell, the brothers felt that their sister had excluded the rest of the family from the estate, and that in the months before and after his stepfather's death, she had "made their lives extremely difficult" and caused "an enormous amount of animosity within the family," according to the affidavit.

Mitchell told detectives that his brother "did not speak of the family's issues often," according to the affidavit, but he knew that Brown was "very angry with Tina."

Some of the family's animosity had been playing out in court. A few months before the murders, Tina Bowden's brother Ralph E. Brown of Winterport filed suit against her.

Tina Bowden served as trustee of the estate of Cecil "Zeke" Armstrong, a Belfast native who raised seven stepchildren. When Armstrong died in November 2019, he left about $126,000 in assets, plus a house and about 25 acres of land in Belfast. The estate was to be divided into seven equal shares.

In his lawsuit, Ralph E. Brown claimed that his sister had refused to provide details about the estate and had dipped into their stepfather's assets.

But Tina Bowden fought these claims. In her response to her brother's lawsuit, she denied doing anything wrong, saying that she only used Armstrong's funds to care for him so he could remain in his home during his life. She claimed that Ralph E. Brown and Mitchell Brown had "harassed, bullied" and interfered with her while she was carrying out her duties as the trustee.

In 2019, Tina Bowden obtained a protection order against Mitchell Brown after he allegedly assaulted her while she was with their stepfather.

She also issued a counterclaim against her brother, Ralph E. Brown for defamation, slander and severe emotional distress.

Diahanne Morse, Tina Bowden's daughter, said last week that the last year has been very difficult. She has been added as a defendant in the lawsuits filed against her mother, which has meant she is not able to simply grieve her losses but must defend herself against the claims, too.

"The continual lawsuits and legal harassment by my mother's brothers, instead of offering condolences and support, has caused a great deal of distress and financial hardship," she said. "I have not had the opportunity to grieve."

Morse said she hopes bail is not granted for Glenn Brown.

"I know [family members] are trying really hard to get Glenn out of jail. I'm hoping he stays right there," she said.

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