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.


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  • Fred

    Mr Bowen's actions are typical for the logging industry, especially when the logging is done for a government entity. Then, when the SHTF, we find the logger has a past history of timber theft but is still hired. It happened twice in my county. The first time, the logger hired the son of the govt lackey contracting with him for the job. In the second case, the board of the government entity was in on the scam and all parties (except the public) benefitted from the theft of timber from an adjoining property.

  • Dumb Liberals

    Dang those res gestae statements. Those pesky truthful utterances, especially when they are on tape and in your own voice. Much less, repeating the same CRIME yet again.

  • MOCO man

    It never ceases to amaze me how lawyers don't ever want the truth to be heard..........they are the absolute most crooked human beings ever. If he said it.......the jury should be privy to hear what he said.

  • northforkfisher

    I know that it is a typo, because the logs sure brought in more than $143.00. If the timber that he cut was damaged, I could understand him cutting it by mistake. The sad thing about all of this is the removal of mature, because a lot of us older adults will be gone by the time it grows back.

  • Thatguyoverthere

    Wrongful injury to timber is out there to protect timber that people own...if a person was to have a specimen cherry that is straight, true, no knots...and has a few logs in it...that is an extremely high dollar tree...There is a lot of money in timber and timber poaching is very common.

    • ViennaGuy

      I understand that, but the timber is an inanimate object. Why isn't it just simply theft? Isn't cutting down trees that you don't own a form of theft?

      I never did understand lawyers.

  • ViennaGuy

    "Wrongful injury to timber?"

    I've heard of wrongful injury to people, but wrongful injury to timber?

    What's up with that? Did the timber file a wrongful injury complaint or something? Is the timber now on an equal legal footing with human beings?