BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The fate of Michaele Bowers, the woman accused of shooting and killing local chef Ray Ingram, is now in the hands of 12 Kern County residents.
Jury deliberations are underway in the Bowers murder trial. Bowers is accused of shooting and killing J's Place Chef Ray Ingram on Feb. 22, 2017.
Bowers' first trial ended in mistrial back in 2019 after a jury deadlocked. The case was re-filed back by the Kern County District Attorney's Office back in April of 2017.
During closing arguments, Prosecutor John Allen ran through the events that led up to Ingram's death. Allen recounted the motive Bowers had for killing Ingram, his ongoing infidelity.
"What was going through her mind when he showed up that day?" Allen asked the jury. "Ray was unfaithful...that doesn't justify murder."
The defense painted a picture before the jury of Ingram as an abuser who forced Bowers to defend herself.
"I'm going to kill you bi***," Defense attorney David A. Torres repeatedly yelled as he acted out what he claimed happened on the evening of Ingram's death.
Torres reenacted a scene in which Ingram attacked Bowers in their home and Bowers was forced to use a gun to defend herself. Torres said that the years of abuse Bowers allegedly sustained from Ingram instilled in her a sense of Post Traumatic Sense Disorder.
"What matters in this particular case is it was for protection," Torres said. "We need to send a message and what that message is it's okay to protect yourself in your home."
The prosecution argued that this was not a case of self-defense but rather a case of jealousy. The prosecution argued that Bowers became aware that Ingram had fathered a child with another woman.
Court documents show that the morning of the killing, police said Bowers texted Ingram a picture of a receipt showing he had purchased two sets of Valentine's gifts, essentially the same gift for each woman.
Documents show that Bowers allegedly shot Ingram one time in the neck and then proceeded to call police on herself.
Prosecutor Allen played the recording of the 911 call during his closing arguments. In the call a woman, supposedly Bowers, is asking for the emergency services for Ingram. The 911 operator can be heard on the call asking Bowers for more information about the situation but Bowers doesn't offer any. She eventually hangs up.
"Again this is not a self-defense case," Prosecutor Allen said, "I'm asking you to find the truth, and do so by found a guilty verdict."
If Bowers is found guilty of first-degree murder, she could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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