South Bend man convicted of felony murder sentenced in connection with Elkhart man's death

A South Bend man has been sentenced to 59 years in prison after being found guilty of felony murder.

Travion Kirkland, 21, was charged in connection with the shooting that happened during an attempted robbery of a home on April 16, 2012, according to the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office.

Kirkland and his cousin, DeAndre Jones, entered the home of Jesse Bowen, 21, to rob him of marijuana and money, according to the prosecution, who told the court that during a fight inside the home, Kirkland shot and killed Jesse Bowen. Kirkland and Jones then took off and Kirkland attempted to create an alibi for his whereabouts during the shooting.

Kirkland claimed he was with his cousin elsewhere at the time of the shooting, but his alibi unraveled as the jury heard multiple versions of where alleged he was at the time Jesse Bowen was shot, according to the prosecution.

At the sentencing hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joel Williams pointed out Kirkland planned the robbery, recruited others to rob Jesse Bowen, shot Jesse Bowen when he did not comply with his demands.

Jesse Bowen’s aunt and cousin also spoke at the sentencing hearing and they described the loss their family and friends have endured due to Bowen’s death.

Kirkland, addressed the court and reiterated he was innocent, according to 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth.

“I’d like to send my condolences to Jesse’s family, and I’d like for my family to know that I’m sorry they’ve had to go through all this,” he said.

Kirkland said he plans to appeal his conviction.

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