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COA affirms angry ex-boyfriend’s battery convictions

March 14, 2013

A northern Indiana man, angry that his ex-girlfriend was in a new relationship, had his convictions of battery by means of a deadly weapon upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The convictions stemmed from his ramming of the new boyfriend’s car with his.

Jennifer Kaminski’s new boyfriend, Andrew Bolinger, followed her home from his house in his friend Anthony Badzinski’s car. Bolinger was concerned for Kaminski’s safety because Michael Bowser was not happy his ex-girlfriend was seeing Bolinger. She stopped in a business’s driveway after seeing Bowser’s car, and he approached her car and was angry. He pulled away in his car after seeing Bolinger and Badzinski drive up.

But Bowser turned his car around and sped down the road, leaving his lane and hitting Badzinski’s parked car, seriously injuring the two.

He was charged with eight counts and convicted of all charges, but the court only entered judgment on two Class C felony convictions of battery by a deadly weapon.

In Michael Bowser v. State of Indiana, 71A03-1208-CR-361, Michael Bowser appealed his convictions, arguing the trial court should have granted his motion to sever the battery charges from the criminal recklessness charges. Bowser wasn’t entitled to severance as a matter of right based on the statute, but a court does have discretion in granting severance in certain cases, including complexity of the evidence to be offered.

“Here, there were a number of charged offenses but the evidence was not complex, consisting of testimony from five witnesses and twenty-one exhibits, primarily photographs,” Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote. Also, “it is reasonable to conclude that the jury was able to distinguish the evidence and apply the law intelligently because the charged offenses differed only in levels of mental culpability, whether a deadly weapon was used, and the level of harm inflicted upon the victims.”

The evidence also supports that Bowser knowingly or intentionally battered the two men. The court rejected his argument that the collision was an accident.
 

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