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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Amelia Neath and Andrea Cavallier

Doctor indicted on murder charges for poisoning wife with gout medicine

Olmsted County Jail

A doctor who allegedly fatally poisoned his wife has had his charges upgraded to first-degree murder.

Dr Connor Bowman, 30, was arrested back in October after authorities investigated the sudden illness and death of his wife, Betty Bowman, 32, who died on 20 August.

Mr Bowman, a former resident at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota whose training ended in early October, had allegedly tried to stop his wife from having an autopsy and demanded she be cremated immediately, claiming her death was natural and that she “did not want to be a cadaver,” according to a criminal complaint obtained by KAAL.

However, the medical examiner’s office stopped the cremation due to the suspicious circumstances and found that Ms Bowman had died from the toxic effects of the gout drug colchicine, something she had not been prescribed.

Mr Bowman was allegedly found to have been researching colchicine and how much it would take to kill someone with it.

He was charged on Thursday with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder with intent, the Olmsted County Attorney announced last week.

This new indictment replaces a previous charge of second-degree murder.

An investigation into her death claimed  she had died from poisoning, with a grand jury believing that Mr Bowman “intentionally and with premeditation was responsible for her death.”

Bowman has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder with intent
— (Olmsted County Jail)

The suspect also looked up his wife’s weight in kilograms and multiplied it by 0.8 to try and work out a lethal dosage for colchicine, the complaint read.

His search history also included “Internet browsing history: can it be used in court?” “delete Amazon data police” and “food v. industrial grade sodium nitrate.”

Betty, also a pharmacist at Mayo Clinic, initially was hosptialised in Rochester with symptoms similar to food poisoning, but her condition got rapidly worse when she started to experience cardiac issues, fluid in her lungs and organ failure.

While his wife was ill, Mr Bowman suggested that she was suffering from a rare illness called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH, but tests for that came back inconclusive.

During the month Betty died, Mr Bowman was working as a poison specialist and used University of Kansas-owned devices to do his research on colchicine and sodium nitrate.

The couple were allegedly having marital troubles and Mr Bowman was in debt
— (Macken Funeral Home)

A woman from the university stepped forward to tell investigators about his search history, saying he had not had any calls about colchicine, nor did any other employees.

After his wife’s death, her loved ones reported to authorities that her husband may have been after her $500,000 life insurance policy, with one of Betty’s friends saying that Mr Bowman may have been in debt, Fox9 reports.

During a search of Mr Bowman’s home, police found a receipt for a $450,000 bank deposit, the complaint said, according to NBC News.

Legal documents also said a tipster came forward saying they were having marital issues and were considering divorce.

Mr Bowman will be arraigned on 16 January and faces a possible life sentence without the possibility of parole if convicted of his charges, the county attorney said, per the outlet.

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