A man who pleaded guilty to murder in the beheading of his pregnant girlfriend on a New York City rooftop in 1989 was sentenced Friday to 18 years to life in prison.
Philip Ward apologized tearfully for killing Veronica Bowen, who was six weeks pregnant. The 46-year-old Ward, who pleaded guilty on March 22, is already in prison for killing the woman who became his girlfriend after Bowen’s death. The sentences will run consecutively.
Bowen’s naked, headless body was found on the rooftop of an upper Manhattan apartment building. Her head was never found. Prosecutors lacked enough evidence to charge Ward at the time of the crime, but he confessed to it last year.
Ward’s attorney, Frank Rothman, said the confession was spurred by a desire to build a better relationship with his and Bowen’s two children.
Bowen’s sister Kimberly said at the sentencing that Bowen loved being a mother, adored her kids and was deeply in love with Ward, whom she trusted until the end.
“I am haunted by thoughts of what she must have felt in her last moments,” she told the judge. “I wish I could hug her again, talk to her, hear her voice and see her lovely face. She was my best friend. To die is one thing, but to die like that is the worst thing I can think of; it’s inhuman.”Continue reading