DARDANELLE, Ark. (KTHV)- James Bowden is charged with killing three people; 46-year-old Lt. Mainhart, 61-year-old Rita Miller, and 17-year-old Ciara Miller.
Bowden held his ex-girlfriend, Haley Mcham, hostage. She told us it all started because she didn't want to date him anymore.
“He shot my mother four times and then my daughter once in the chest and he came in and told me it was my fault. He said if I had come home they would still be alive and that I was going to have to live with it,” she said.
She said she thought he was going to kill her but she held on to hope.
“I told him anything I could. I told him everything he wanted to hear, I told him I loved him and would come and see him. I told him anything that might work,” she said.
Mcham was finally able to escape after she said Bowden took several pain pills, got drowsy, and then went to the garage to get some food. She said she let things go too far and now feels her family and friends have had to suffer.
“I want every woman that stays in these abusive relationships to get out today, right now. You never expect this to happen. I never expected this to happen. I never thought he would've came and killed my baby and my mother. There's been times I was scared he was going to kill me, I thought he would only kill me but he didn't. He took bigger pieces, he took my family,” she said.
Mcham and her family said Ciara and Rita were one of a kind people. Ciara, Mcham's daughter, was just about to graduate high school.
David and Debbie Miller said Ciara was a good girl and that she never got into trouble. They feel her life was taken too soon and she’ll never get to experience what life was like.
Mcham said her daughter was caring and would be the first person to help you, even if she didn’t like you. Gary Waid said Ciara was a sweet golden soul.
“You couldn’t find a sweeter girl,” Waid said.
Mcham said her mother Rita helped her take care of all her kids and family members of Rita’s said she would do anything to help others in need. Waid said Rita wouldn’t take crap from anyone.
“She was independent and knew her mind on things; she was a strong persona and had a strong personality,” he said.
Mcham said her mother died protecting her from Bowden.
“All she ever wanted was for me to get away from him and listen and now it’s too late,” she said.
David and Debbie said Rita lived for her grandkids.
“She loved each and every one of them, Rita was a good person,” they said.
The family said this has been hard on them and the community but they will pull through. Mcham said Bowden will get what he deserves.
“We will have justice and he’ll get what he deserves,” she said.