Jury Returns Guilty Verdict in Rowry Trial

The former police chief of York, Ala., David Rowry, was found guilty Thursday in his manslaughter trial that involved the death of Joe Bell.

Rowry was accused of shooting and killing the 51-year-old Bell at Church's Chicken in York in September 2008.

"We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of manslaughter," read the jury foreman.

"Yes! Thank you, Jesus!" reacted the family of Joe Bell.

Around 4 p.m. Thursday, after almost two hours of deliberation, the jury reached its verdict.

Immediately after it was read, Rowry was placed in shackles. Officers from several different departments were at the Sumter County Courthouse for security purposes.

Rowry's attorney, Belinda Weldon, then went over to talk with Rowry's wife and other family members who were immediately escorted from the courtroom.

In response to the verdict, members of the prosecution and the victim's family expressed mixed emotion.

"I feel good about the verdict, but I can't get my Joe back!" said Ann Bell, Joe Bell's widow.

"This community knows that the law is going to be enforced and that the law applies to everyone, and knows that law enforcement and the D.A.'s office is going to make that happen," said district attorney, Greg Griggers.

Griggers said there will not be any other charges filed in this case.

"There was a very thorough investigation done into this whole incident. There were a lot of rumors and a lot of people say a lot of things, but I'm more than confident that the only person responsible for Joe Bell's death has been tried and convicted and there will not be anymore charges brought," Griggers said.

Right after the verdict, Sumter County Sheriff Johnny Hatter said Rowry would be housed in the Tuscaloosa County Jail. Hatter later said the plan was changed and Rowry will be housed at an undisclosed location. He will remain there until he's sentenced Jan. 12, 2010. He is facing two to twenty years behind bars.


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