Categorized | National News

7-Year Anniversary Of Deadly Prison Break – Slain Officer Remembered

Thursday marked seven years since that deadly January 17, 2006 prison break that led to the deaths of a veteran prison officer and one of the escapees.

Yesterday, nearly a decade after his death, the family of slain prison officer Corporal Dion Bowles said it just does not get easier and added that they are still grieving.

“Every time I look at his photograph I weep tears,” Bowles’ 83-year-old mother Olivia Bowles said. “He was my everything. He used to cater to me. When he came to visit me from Nassau he used to bring everything I needed. I miss those days very much.”

The Bahama Journal spoke with Mrs. Bowles over the phone from her Orange Creek, Cat Island home, her voice at times shaking as she spoke.

The morning of January 17, 2006 was a day the Bowles family said they will never forget as it was the morning that four prisoners in Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP) Maximum Security wing, namely, Barry Parcoi, Corey Hepburn, Neil Brown and Forrester Bowe, mounted a deadly prison escape – in the process 13-year-prison veteran Corporal Bowles was stabbed to death.

It was around 4:00 a.m. that the four prisoners executed their long planned escape, killing Bowles and injuring two other officers, Kenneth Sweeting and David Armbrister in the process.

One of the four escaped prisoners, Brown, was shot dead.

Brown was convicted of the 2000 murder of Anglican Archdeacon William Thompson.

Convicted murderer Forrester Bowe and convicted rapist Barry Parcoi were also injured during the incident but were captured soon after.

Corey Hepburn, though, escaped and led police on a two-week hunt for him. He was recaptured on February 1, 2006 in an apartment building in Coral Harbour.

“The day I got the call, hurt came to me,” she added. “I didn’t sleep the night before; God knows I did not sleep that night. My eyes didn’t close, I must [have known] I was expecting some news.”

“Early the next morning my baby sister came into my house and she fell down to my feet and said there was a murder and my son was dead. Since then I asked God to keep me but I know the consequences will be handed down.”

The fallen officer was buried on January 26.

Bowles’ sister Beverly Bowles said every January 17 she takes the day off from work for quiet reflection.

“I just stay home and reminisce,” she said. “There’s nothing else we can do. Just think about our loss. There are so many things to remember. The biggest thing I remember is that I won’t see my brother again, never hear his voice agai; that was the hardest part about it,”

In May, 2006 Bowe, Hepburn and Parcoi were tried during a Coroner’s Inquest and were found to be “jointly responsible” for Bowles’ death.

The Bahamas Prison Association held a memorial in Bowles’ honour Thursday night.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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