YELL COUNTY, Ark. – James Bowden told investigators a fight between him and his former girlfriend’s mother Rita Miller sparked what would turn into a tragedy in Yell County.


“I finally grabbed her and pushed her to the ground,” Bowden told investigators. “Her old lady came out, her mom… her mom shot at me.”
Bowden says after being shot at by Rita on May 11, he went home to get a gun.
Authorities were then called and that’s when Yell County Deputy Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart saw Bowden’s truck and stopped it.
“An officer pulled up behind me, I went to open my truck door and got out and I had the gun so I tried to hide it with the towel,” Bowden told investigators.
Bowden then said Mainhart tased him, so he shot the deputy.
“I went to grab my gun and I shot back,” he said.
Bowden said Mainhart fell to the ground but he was still alive and going for his gun. He told authorities he grabbed Mainhart’s gun.
“He was going for it so it was me or him,” Bowden said.
After shooting the two women, Bowden took his girlfriend and Ciera’s mother Haley McHam hostage.


“This is the hostage taker. I need all the police officers to clear out to where I can’t see them or someone’s gonna die,” he told 911 dispatchers.
Bowden seemed convinced on the phone it was the day he was going to die.
“I got pulled over by a police officer and he pulled me with the little taser and I shot him and, yes, I’ve shot two other people since then,” he said on the phone. “I am a triple murderer.”
Bowden asked police for a phone with Facebook on it so he could talk with his kids.
Bowden talked for several minutes with Yell County dispatchers before he asked to speak with law enforcement on scene.
“Please tell the guy behind the red truck that he is not… he is right in my line of fire and I can take him out,” he told the dispatcher.
Bowden managed to talk with his brothers and mother on a different phone. He could be heard on the 911 call telling Haley he was “sorry” but he was not going to be put on death row for being a cop killer.
“You don’t have to kill yourself today,” the hostage negotiator said.
The negotiator kept using Bowden’s first name and asked him personal questions.
“How long have you and Haley been boyfriend/girlfriend,” the negotiator asked. Bowden replied saying, “Nine, almost ten years.”
After three and a half hours in, Bowden and the negotiator had a difficult time hearing each other.
“How do I know the robot doesn’t do anything except deliver a phone,” Bowden asked the negotiator. 
The phone disconnected seconds later. It’s unclear if the robot ever made it inside the home but Bowden eventually surrendered to police. Haley was not seriously injured.


Bowden pleaded guilty last month to three counts of capital murder.