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Jury cannot reach a verdict, mistrial declared in Michaele Bowers trial

Posted at 11:44 AM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 21:08:29-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The jury in the Michaele Bowers murder trial said they reached an impasse Monday, leaving the judge to declare a mistrial.

A new trial date is set for March 16.

Bowers, 52, is accused of shooting and killing her longtime boyfriend and beloved J's Place chef Ray Ingram in 2017.

The jury came back with six jurors voting for voluntary manslaughter, four voting for second-degree murder, one voting for involuntary manslaughter and one voting not guilty.

This is the second time a mistrial has been declared in this case.

Back in May of 2019, a mistrial was declared due to a hung jury.

The prosecution has argued that Bowers killed Ingram, 51, in a fit of rage over his ongoing infidelity. According to court documents, Ingram began a relationship with another woman in 2009 and had a child with her in 2013. The woman asked Ingram to tell Bowers about their relationship but he refused for several years.

She then told Bowers herself in 2016 by writing her a letter and speaking to her on the phone.

The prosecution said that on Nov. 22, 2017, Bowers planned to kill Ingram from the moment he arrived.

Prosecutor John 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.

  • LISTEN: Recording of the 911 call from Nov. 22, 2017:
911 call in Southwest Bakersfield shooting

Defense attorney David A. Torres' description of events tells a different story.

"I'm going to kill you bi***," Torres repeatedly yelled as he acted out what he claimed happened on the evening of Ingram's death.

Torres argued that Ingram continually abused Bowers for years and that on the night of his killing, Bowers was only acting in self-defense and fear for her life. He said Ingram followed Bowers to the the bedroom where she then grabbed the gun. When he entered the room, she fired.

Security footage on the day of the murder showed that Ingram parked across the street from Bowers’ home at 6:02 a.m. Officers arrived on scene at 6:21 a.m. Bowers was arrested three minutes later.

Bowers had asked Ingram about marriage but he always said no. However, they had been together for more than 25 years. They also had one child together who works and lives in Camarillo.

Police spoke to Ingram’s child, who said he never witnessed any type of domestic abuse between Ingram and Bowers other than occasional arguments.