Chavers pleads guilty to first degree murder in Louisa

By Tara Morgan - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) -  A high profile murder case in Louisa County ends with a plea deal.

The case against Ulisa Chavers, 62, was supposed to go to trial Wednesday. But Chavers instead pleaded guilty to killing her ex-boyfriend.

The commonwealth said many factors came into play to show the murder of Reginal Bowles was premeditated, including a handwritten note prosecutors said was forged by Chavers to cancel his health insurance.

To this day, Chavers maintains her innocence. Both the prosecution and Bowles' children believe justice was served.

The sentence given to Chavers was 50 years, with 20 suspended.

The judge said the killing of Bowles was cold blooded and deliberate. Prosecutors said they have evidence showing he was poisoned over time.

Prosecutors said the prescription drug, benztropine, used to treat Schizophrenia and Parkinson's -- neither of which Bowles had -- was found in his system at four times the lethal limit.

It is a drug someone with heart problems shouldn't take, said prosecutors.  Bowles had a pacemaker.

His body was found at the bottom of a well.

"I love my father I can't bring him back but this helps to serve him justice," said Bowles' son, Lee.

Chavers' attorney told the court that although his client did not kill Bowles, she wanted to spare the Bowles' children from further heartache and save her own daughter from the difficulty of testifying.

The case began with a missing persons report.

His children last saw him alive on Christmas 2006 when he told his son he no longer wanted Chavers as his power of attorney.

Prosecutors said from there, law enforcement uncovered pieces of the puzzle, including a photo doctored in an attempt to prove Bowles was still alive, and a letter with his forged signature.

"Everything was chased down to the point of the Anthem letter and the documentation by the people at Anthem Ms. Chavers made an attempt to cancel some of Mr. Bowles insurance literally came in the last few weeks," said Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney, Tom Garrett.

Last month, Chavers pleaded guilty to stealing Bowles' social security checks.

As part of this new plea, prosecutors agree to recommend a concurrent 43-year sentence for the charges Chavers still faces in Amelia County in the death of her second husband, Clent Chavers, who was found buried in his backyard.

"If she were paroled from the sentence she received she would be over 100 years old. She's had a stroke, she's in a wheelchair, she received a life sentence today," said Garrett.

Chavers will appear in Amelia County court on January 6 where she's facing a murder charge in the death of her second husband.

Chavers agreed to an Alford plea today, which means she doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence to convict.

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