Detectives Find New Evidence In High Profile Rape, Murder Case

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jun 27, 2016

Murfreesboro Police detectives have made a discovery of new evidence in a 2015 murder case that could lead to more victims.

It was an absolutely brutal crime and the suspect was charged with the rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman.

Detectives have discovered so much new evidence that plea talks with the suspect were suddenly placed on hold.

Brandon Bowling is locked up at the Rutherford County jail on a $1million bond. He was charged in a case that shocked Murfreeboro.

Heather Maples, 22, was murdered in her living room last August. A few days later, District Attorney Jennings Jones spoke to the seriousness of the crime.

"The young lady in this case was found dead in her apartment - a place where she expects to be safe," said General Jones last August.

NewsChannel 5 obtained copies of the search warrant. It states that Maples was found "laying on a mattress on her stomach in the apartment living room."

Detectives found "...signs of blunt force trauma to her head and marks on her neck to indicate strangulation."

She was found partially naked and they believe she was "...possibly sexually assaulted."

A few days later, Murfreesboro detectives arrested 22-year-old Brandon Bowling. He was charged with premeditated first degree murder and four counts of aggravated rape.

Again, Jennings in the days just after Bowling's arrest. "This is an extremely serious crime. Something my office and the Murfreesboro PD take extremely seriously," said General Jones.

Yet, prosecutors recently asked to delay a plea hearing. It took nearly a year, but new evidence was recovered from the suspect's cellphone.

Sources told Newschannel 5 that Bowling allegedly took video of the attack on Maples in her apartment. Additional video evidence of other women, possibly victims, was also allegedly found on Bowling's cellphone.

Police immediately began looking into that part of the case. Neither the district attorney or Murfreesboro Police would comment on this ongoing investigation, but sources said there is much more to the detail of the case than anyone originally imagined.

Bowling has pleaded not guilty to the charges. No trial date has been set. It is possible prosecutors could seek the death penalty.