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Murder Suspect Has History Of Domestic Violence

Last updated on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

(SEYMOUR) - Court records show the suspect in Sunday’s murder of a North Vernon woman has a history of domestic violence against her.

"We have records of him being accused of domestic violence involving his former wife," Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott said Monday of James "Darrell" Sowder, 62, of Seymour.

"She did sustain some serious injuries," Abbott added of Candice A. Sowder, 64, in connection with a July 2002 report at the couple's home on Colonial Drive in Seymour. "I believe they were married at the time."

Dan Davis, of the Tribune reports, Candice Sowder was treated for those injuries at Schneck Medical Center, Abbott said. He declined to elaborate.

She was found dead Sunday night at her North Vernon home, shot in the head. Candice Sowder's daughter, Regina D. Johnson, 42, also was found shot at the residence and was flown to an Indianapolis hospital for treatment, police said.

According to online court records, Sowder pleaded guilty in October 2003 to a domestic battery charge, agreeing to a Class A misdemeanor. The crime was originally charged as a felony.

"For it to have been a felony, there had to be a prior arrest as well," Abbott said.

As part of that plea agreement, Sowder was ordered to complete an anger management class.

Sentencing terms of that plea agreement were later amended, however, when Sowder pleaded guilty in June 2004 of violating his probation, court records state. That was a result of a charge of driving while intoxicated, according to court records.

As part of the revised sentence, Sowder was ordered to serve six months of home detention through Jackson County Community Corrections. His probation was also extended to coincide with the time he completed serving the home detention, court records state.

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