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US jails father for murder of 'meek' uncle.

Byline: By GARETH MORGAN Western Mail

A father of four from Wales has been jailed in the USA for killing his wife's uncle, five years after he fled the States under suspicion of murder. Christopher St John, 48, who has lived in Haverfordwest and Cardiff, has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for the death of John Charles Bowman, 53, in May 2000. He was turned over to the USA after promises that the death penalty would not be implemented. Instead he has been given eight to 20 years imprisonment.

Prosecutors said Mr Bowman was killed as the two men argued at the former Marttony's Restaurant, at Roscoe, off Route 88.

At a preliminary hearing in November, St John's daughter, Christina, testified that she saw her father choke his victim in a booth at the restaurant on May 24, 2000.

Shortly after her father released his grasp, Mr Bowman's head fell face first into a bowl of soup on the table, she said.

The girl, who was 12 at the time of the incident, also recalled her father beating Mr Bowman with a rolling pin the day before, because he wasn't mopping fast enough.

'We were raised to believe that weakness was not to be tolerated,' wrote St John's eldest child, Katie, in a statement to the court.

'John was a meek and fearful man, that is the reason he was ultimately exterminated.'

Mr Bowman worked and lived at the restaurant, as did the rest of the St John family. He was 5ft 3in tall and weighed 100 pounds.

Just after Mr Bowman's death, St John came back to stay with his sister, Fatima Howells, in Haverfordwest. His marriage had deteriorated and he wanted to get a divorce and settle in Pembrokeshire with his children.

On August 1, 2000 Dyfed- Powys police arrested St John at his sister's house.

The Washington County Coroner's report indicated Bowman died of pneumonia that developed from the blows to his neck at Marttony's.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 8, 2005
Words:328
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