Couple in homicide by child abuse case face additional charges - - Columbia, South Carolina

Couple in homicide by child abuse case face additional charges

Richard Bowman and Theia McArdle (Source: Newberry County Detention Center) Richard Bowman and Theia McArdle (Source: Newberry County Detention Center)
Gabriel McArdle Gabriel McArdle
Theia McArdle and Richard Bowman in court. (Source: WIS) Theia McArdle and Richard Bowman in court. (Source: WIS)

A couple awaiting trial in a Newberry child homicide case have new charges on their records after misconduct in the county jail.

Theia McArdle, 21, and Richard Bowman III, 28, are both charged with homicide by child abuse in the death of 3-year-old Gabriel McArdle in December 2014. They have been in the Newberry County Detention Center since their arrests on Dec. 30.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said McArdle was put on lockdown after trying to deliver notes to male inmates in the jail. On May 1, a male officer was doing a security check on McArdle in lockdown when she took off her clothes in front of him. She was charged with indecent exposure and pleaded guilty on May 20. She got credit for time served in the county jail for her sentence.

Foster said McArdle is off lockdown and back in the pre-trial female block of the jail.

Bowman, who was McArdle's live-in boyfriend at the time of Gabriel's death, has had four incidents at the detention center, resulting in additional charges.

On Feb. 2, he was found with razor blades, rolled pieces of tobacco and a lighter, which resulted in a prisoner contraband charge. This charge is still pending in court.

Almost two months later on March 29, he got into a fight with another inmate and was charged with disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty to this charge on April 29 and received credit for time served in jail for his sentence.

In May, he got two more charges for carrying or concealing a weapon by an inmate and for malicious injury to property. Foster said Bowman was removing the weather stripping caulk from the window in his cell, resulting in these two charges. Both of these charges are still pending as of this report.

McArdle and Bowman were arrested after taking Gabriel to the Newberry hospital's emergency room, where he was pronounced dead. Newberry County Coroner Craig Newton said an autopsy on the child showed injuries consistent with child abuse and found the cause of death was respiratory depression caused by subdural hemorrhage from blunt force trauma to the head.

Newberry police said McArdle and Bowman, who are from Enoree, were in Newberry County with the child for McArdle to respond to an online advertisement requesting a female escort.

A check of Bowman's and McArdle's criminal records with SLED show both were charged with misdemeanor criminal domestic violence in Spartanburg County in October 2014. In North Carolina, McArdle's rap sheet includes multiple charges of assault related to an ex-boyfriend, strangers and her own child. Bowman also has a criminal record that shows he was arrested for assaulting McArdle twice around the time DSS was investigating the family in 2013.

No cases have been filed against McArdle and Bowman with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, but a 2013 case investigated in North Carolina was completed in August of 2014.

No court date has been set for the couple in Gabriel's death. McArdle and Bowman face 20 years to life if convicted in that case.

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