[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
FROM THE GRANT COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 27CR-17-44],
HONORABLE EDDY EASLEY, JUDGE
C. Wilson, Sheridan, for appellant.
Rutledge, Atty Gen., by: Michael Zangari, Asst Atty Gen.,
R. ABRAMSON, Judge
Grant County Circuit Court jury convicted appellant Akela
Shylo Bowman of murder in the first degree, a Class Y felony,
and sentenced her to thirty years imprisonment in the
Arkansas Department of Correction. Bowman appeals her
conviction, arguing that insufficient evidence existed to
support the finding that she knowingly caused the death of
her four-month-old son, K.S. For the following reasons, we
January 25, 2017, emergency responders were dispatched to
Bowmans residence after receiving a "code blue"
call concerning a baby. When paramedics arrived at Bowmans
home, they found K.S. not breathing and unresponsive. He was
immediately transported to Arkansas Childrens Hospital for
scene, Bowman told law enforcement officers that K.S. had
been born two months premature, that she fed him formula
regularly, and that he was progressing normally. She opted
not to ride with him in the ambulance to the hospital. Later
that night, K.S. died at the hospital.
trial, Dr. Steven Shirm, a thirty-year board-certified
pediatrician who was on duty in the emergency room at
Arkansas Childrens Hospital the night K.S. died, testified
on behalf of the State. He treated K.S., and following the
childs death, he immediately contacted the coroner due to
the "shock" of K.S.s physical condition and his
suspicion that "[t]he child appear[ed] to have been
starved to death." When Bowman arrived at the hospital,
she told the doctor that K.S. had been born two months
premature but had taken to the bottle well and that she had
experienced no problems feeding him.
Shirm testified that based on his medical experience and
expertise, Bowmans explanation was "not at all
consistent" with his observations and that a properly
fed premature infant should have weighed approximately eight
pounds by the age of four months. When K.S. was born on
September 2, 2016, he weighed four pounds. When he was
discharged from the hospital in October 2016, he weighed six
pounds, one ounce. At the time of his death in January 2017,
he weighed five pounds, eleven ounces.
Arkansas Childrens Hospital social worker Trevor Arnett also
testified at trial. He met and talked with Bowman the night
K.S. died. Bowman repeated the same explanation she had given
Dr. Shirm about K.S.s being premature, and she seemed
"very passive" in the situation. Bowman showed
Arnett a picture of K.S. taken two weeks before his death,
remarking "how well [K.S. was] doing" and
"what a happy child he is" in the photograph.
Arnett went on to testify that K.S.s condition in the
photograph reminded him "of a Holocaust ...