Elkhart man gets 95 years in slaying where body was burned

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A northern Indiana man convicted in a fatal shooting where the victim’s body was later driven to Michigan and burned has been sentenced to 95 years in prison.

An Elkhart County judge sentenced Austin Bowlin of Elkhart on Thursday for the slaying of Jeffrey Crapo, 32. A jury had convicted Bowlin, 38, in February of murder and other charges in Crapo’s murder.

According to trial testimony, Bowlin shot Crapo twice in the head on March 1, 2020, and then drove around in a car with the Elkhart man’s body before leaving the car in Jackson, Michigan, a few days later.

Bowlin then set the car on fire with Crapo’s body still inside. His body was identified by dental records.

Elkhart Circuit Judge Michael Christofeno pointed to the burning of the victim’s body in deciding on a 95-year sentence, which includes the maximum 65-year sentence for murder and 30 years for using a firearm and being a habitual criminal offender.

“You committed the murder of Jeffrey Crapo by cold-blooded execution, then you burned his body and left it in charred pieces,” the judge said.

Bowlin maintained his innocence Thursday and told the court he intends to appeal his murder conviction.

Bowlin had previously pleaded guilty to arson and desecration of a body in Michigan, where he is serving time for those charges.

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