Rogers County Man Snared In Murder For Hire Scheme

Tuesday, July 7th 2009, 8:48 am
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Rogers County man has a $100,000 bond after being arrested in a murder for hire scheme.  Tulsa Police homicide detectives say Stephen Bowen hired an undercover officer to murder Bowen's wife in a plan that was elaborate, greedy and detailed.

The News On 6 has learned that Bowen first tried to hire a former employee to do the job.  That employee declined, but said he would find someone.  Instead, the employee went straight to police and they say that probably saved Sharon Bowen's life.

Tulsa Police sent an undercover officer to play the role of hitman for hire.

Bowen and the undercover officer met at the Flying J Truck Stop on East Admiral to work out the details and there were many.  Police say Bowen wanted his wife, Sharon, murdered on Thursday between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.

They say Bowen wanted her shot to death with a gun equipped with a silencer and Bowen would leave the back door of the home unlocked.  He said his wife would be sleeping on her side or back and he wanted her shot in the chest and he would be shot in the shoulder.  He planned to report items missing, to make it look like a home invasion robbery, but wanted to keep his TVs.

"Was gonna say $3,700 in cash was part of the loot in the home invasion robbery. She had jewelry on her and in her jewelry box, so take jewelry, take rings off her fingers, but leave the televisions. He was specific about that, which gives you an idea of what his priorities are," said Tulsa Police Major Crimes Detective Mike Nance.

They say Bowen drew a map to the house and a diagram of the lay-out, and finally, he gave the officer a key to a Catoosa Post Office box, where weekly payments would be made.  As Bowen was driving to show the officer the home, he was stopped and arrested.

Tulsa Police say Bowen asked them to call his wife to come get the truck, which had work equipment in it.  She did and that's when they told her about the plan.

"There's no way to beat around the bush on something like this, your husband is in custody for trying to have you murdered and she had no reaction, was just in shock," said Tulsa Police Major Crimes Detective Mike Nance.

The Bowen's have been married for 17 years and owned a parking lot striping business.  Officers say he didn't want to give up half his business and assets in a divorce.

Tulsa Police say another man had accepted the job to kill Sharon Bowen, but was arrested before he could do it, so they feel very fortunate this case didn't end in murder.

Investigators say it feels great, to have a chance to save someone's life.

07/6/2009  Related Story: Man Jailed In Murder For Hire Scheme

Bowen will be in court July 14th.