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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, October 08, 2019 1:00 am

Suspect: I wasn't home when wife was shot

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

The man charged Monday in the shooting of a woman late Thursday told police he was not home when his wife was shot. 

Clinton J. Rowe, 39, was charged with aggravated battery, domestic battery with serious bodily injury and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon in the shooting of his wife, identified in court documents as Jessica Rowe. The pair had been married for three years.

Just before midnight Thursday, police responded to the 1200 block of Wefel Street for a disturbance. According to court documents, a witness at a nearby home reported a woman, later identified as Jessica Rowe, screaming that she had been locked out. It was the first of several calls the witness would make to police that evening. 

As police were responding, the witness heard what was described as two possible gunshots. A few minutes later, a vehicle driven by a woman pulled up and left with the victim. Police arrived shortly after. According to court documents, the witness called police back to say the victim had left.  

At 11:52 p.m., police were called to a hospital for Jessica Rowe's arrival, court documents state.

At 12:21 a.m., the witness called police again to tell them a silver Cadillac left the Wefel Street home at high speed. A few hours later, police at the hospital where Jessica Rowe was being treated observed Clinton Rowe arrive in a silver Cadillac CTS.

According to court documents, Jessica Rowe was interviewed by police while still in the emergency room. Doctors told police that the victim had been shot in the mouth and that the bullet was still lodged in the back of her head. Although her jaw was shattered and she was having difficulty speaking, court documents state she was conscious and alert and identified Clinton Rowe as the person who shot her.

According to court documents, the victim also independently told two ER nurses that her husband was the one who caused her injuries. 

A search warrant was obtained for the Rowe residence, and investigators found a bullet hole through one of the front windows, along with fresh blood on the ground. The bullet appears to have originated inside the home and traveled outside toward the front yard. 

Clinton Rowe voluntarily agreed to an interview by police, court documents state. When questioned, Rowe said he and the victim were out drinking at three different bars. Rowe said he drove the victim home.

He also told police they did not argue and that his wife had not been locked out of the house.

He told police the two entered the home, but he refused to allow investigators access to the home's video security feed. 

“After being home for 15-20 minutes, Clinton stated that Jessica was not feeling good from the drinking, so he told her to 'deal with it' and left to go drink more with his son Alex Rowe at his trailer on Washington Center Road,” court documents state. “Clinton denied shooting his wife or even being at his (Wefel Street) home when the shooting happened.”

After investigators told Rowe that the victim had identified him as the person who shot her, Rowe terminated the interview and was arrested. Bond was set Monday at $425,000. 

His next hearing is Thursday.

dgong@jg.net