February 22, 2010
Ulisa Chavers has been sentenced to five years in jail Monday for hiding her boyfriend's dead body in a well on his Louisa property.
Chavers is charged with improper disposal of a human body, identity fraud, credit card fraud and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
Chavers, 61, pleaded guilty to the charges in October. The body of her boyfriend, Reginal Cody Bowles, was found in a well on his Louisa property in March 2009. Benztropine, a prescription drug used for Parkinson's disease, was found in his body during an autopsy, but he did not have a prescription for it.
Bowles' son testified in Louisa County Circuit Court. He said the last time anyone saw his father was Christmas 2006. He said Chavers continued to lie about where Bowles was and that she wanted nothing to do with his children.
"I don't feel five years is anywhere near enough," Lee Bowles said. "You get more time than five years for possession of drugs."
In court, Chavers said recent heart trauma and having faced death has changed her. She was originally scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 25, but was hospitalized before her court appearance. She apologized to Bowles' three children and to her family for the pain she's caused.
"I'm a forgiving person, but I can't forgive somebody for that," Lee Bowles said. "I mean, it was hard to sit there and testify and have her sitting right there looking at me, acting like nothing really happened."
Prosecutors called Chavers' acts "unconscionable at best and unfathomable at worst," and they hoped for a stricter sentence. Though Chavers has not been charged in Bowles' death, prosecutors uphold that the investigation is ongoing.
The defense, however, said that there was no evidence she caused the death and that this was simply a crime of opportunity.
Bowles' children said finding their father's body has brought some closure, but questions about hoe h actually died continue to haunt them.
"Going through the sentencing actually makes it a little bit worse," Bowles said. "'Cause it's not like if your father dies of a heart attack, you go the funeral, you realize they're dead and that's it. Now, you're having to deal with the fact that they probably didn't die when they were intended to die. Somebody probably did something to them."