New Video Evidence Leads To New Indictments In Rape, Murder Case

Posted at 7:01 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 20:01:02-04

The trial of Brandon Bowling has been delayed due to a development in the case. Officials found new videos of Bowling allegedly committing the crime.

Bowling was accused of killing Heather Maples in her Murfreesboro apartment two years ago.

Just weeks before trial, the discovery has caused a delay, and we've learned there are now more charges based on shocking new video evidence which brings to mind some elements of the Vanderbilt rape case.

Bowling is in the Rutherford County jail on a $1 million bond and the case against him just got more serious because of what was found on his cell phone.

Police reported Maples was found "laying on a mattress on her stomach in the apartment living room."

detectives saw "... signs of blunt force trauma to her head and marks on her neck to indicate strangulation ... and she was possibly sexually assaulted.

Two days later, they arrested 22-year-old Brandon Bowling for first degree murder and rape. Bowling allegedly recorded the fatal attack on his cell phone.

Trial was set for this June, but now a chilling new development.

"Through the course of the investigation it became apparent new evidence was found and based on that new charges were added," said District Attorney General Jennings Jones.

Bowling now faces two other counts of rape and sexual battery also against Maples.

Now remember, she was murdered in August, 2015. But the news charges are from June and July -- two months prior to her death.

"I really can't comment on how that came to be," said General Jones.

Jones declined to comment on the new evidence that led to the new indictments.

But sources close to the investigation told NewsChannel 5 that Bowling's cell phone produced more videos of him allegedly sexually assaulting Maples on those two other occasions.

The indictment on the new charges called Maples "physically helpless."

"Physically helpless means unconscious or unable to communicate a desire or an unwillingness to participate in an act," said General Jones.

This is reminiscent of the Vanderbilt rape case, where two suspects were convicted of raping a unconscious female and recording it.

Was Bowling doing the same thing, recording the assaults on his cell phone? Did Maples finally catch him in the act, object and that led to the murder?

It will all likely be part of the prosecution's case.

"The evidence in this case recovered from the suspect's phone is all under seal, but will be made public when this case likely goes to trial later this year.

Bowling's attorney said they are aware of the new indictments ... and that his client still maintains his innocence.
Prosecutors also announced they will not be seeking the death penalty against Bowling -- though the nature of the crime qualifies.

Instead, if he is convicted, they will seek a sentence of life in prison without parole.