CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The 2012 derecho caused a significant amount of damage at Coonskin Park near Charleston. The logger contracted to clean up the mess is facing another storm.
David Russell Bowen, of Charleston, is scheduled to go on trial next week after allegedly cutting down too many trees and selling the timber for $143,00. He is charged with felony counts of wrongful injury to timber, obtaining property by false pretenses and destruction of property.
Bowen sat before Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing, where it was revealed that he was secretly recorded saying that he may have gone a little too far in his Coonskin work. Bowen’s attorney, Bill Murray, does not want jurors to hear those statements and moved to have them suppressed.
Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. Brian Humphreys investigated the case in July 2013 and recorded Bowen saying, “I’m just going to be honest with you that, yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have gone down there and got them trees, because when I did that, I did overstep.”
Bowen was also recorded saying, “If I went too far, I’m guilty.”
Murray also moved to suppress statements that Bowen made to Kanawha Parks associate attorney Jordan Herrick. Herrick testified Tuesday, mentioning work on a current civil case involving Bowen.
Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach said Bowen is no stranger to legal trouble. Giggenbach wants jurors to hear not only those recordings, but to know about civil lawsuits that Bowen has faced for events that Giggenbach said mirror the Coonskin case. He was sued in 2007 and 2012.
Judge Bloom will decide on admissibility of those statements and the other information before Bowen’s trial begins Monday.