Chesterfield man charged with murder was scared of losing wife, pastor says

Posted at 11:00 PM, Sep 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-12 00:06:37-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- He called his son and said, "I can't believe I shot my wife,” and then 42-year-old Corey Bowden turned himself in to police.

Bowden's pastor, Robert Pettis, Sr, said that Bowden had been struggling with a relationship that was heading south.

Bowden is a martial arts instructor, a respected barber, and --  his pastor says -- a husband who reached out to him, when his world started to crumble about six months ago.

"He had a great love for his wife,” said Pettis. “They were having problems, but there were things he couldn't turn loose and he feared rejection."

After making that call to his son Thursday morning, Chesterfield Police say Bowden drove himself to a police station.

Later, as forensic officers and detectives collected evidence at the Bowdens’ Summerbrooke Drive home, police say 27-year-old Delesha Bowden died from her injuries at VCU Medical Center.

"I think he thought he was being terminally rejected," said Pettis.

Pettis says he did all he could to counsel Bowden, and while he knew he was struggling, he never thought this day would come.

"I gave him a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on,” Pettis said.  “A minute for attention."

Delesha Bowden's sister says the two had been married for a while.  His pastor believes it was close to eight years, and Pettis said the looming separation and possible divorce was Bowden's breaking point.

"It weighed on him quite heavily,” Pettis said. “He didn't want to give up on the relationship and wanted to be in her life. He says he was showing her that he could change given that he said his past had some domestic violence that he regretted."

The shooting happened at about 12:30 a.m. Police forensic units remained on scene some six hours later, focusing mostly on an upstairs room with the light on.

Multiple neighbors said they never noticed any problems at the house.

A “For Sale” sign was posted a few days ago, according to neighbors.  Online property records indicate the home was purchased in 2008.

Pettis says Bowden was supposed to attend a church teacher certification course this weekend for youth, but Instead he will remain behind bars, charged with murder.

Bowden asked the judge if he could post bond to take his 16-year-old son to Maryland.  The judge denied the request.