Tag Archives: Alfred Plea

Crime Time ~ Diabolical ~ Accident Waiting to Happen

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.

Today’s post is from Diabolical, Season 1, Episode 8: Accident Waiting to Happen:

Summary:  Single Mom Rainey Morin has six children and has been divorced four times. She meets Robert Kowalski and falls for him, moving him in with her and her children into her Montana ranch home. At first, he seems great, and is wonderful with her boys. Then, his violent, possessive temper starts to emerge. Even though she is a tough, strong, independent woman, she ignores the signs and stays with him. One night, she goes out with a friend for drinks. The friend takes her home, and Rainey knows she’s in trouble. Her friend offers to go in with her, but Rainey declines the offer, saying she’ll be fine.

The next morning, a call comes in to 911 from a friend of Robert Kowalski. He tells them that his friend, Robert, claims he shot his girlfriend. The police arrive at Rainey’s home and find her dead from a gunshot wound through her mouth. She also has a bruise/cut in the imprint of a gun muzzle on her forehead.

They learn that Robert is holed up in a cabin and when they arrive, he threatens to shoot himself. After a 31-hour standoff, they toss in tear gas and Kowalski comes out, hands up, coughing and weeping and yelling, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.” (Hmmm…for someone who was planning to kill himself, he certainly suddenly values his own life)

When police question him, he claims the shooting was an accident. He says they argued and she kicked him out of the house and he refused to go. He held a gun to her head and it accidentally went off. (Ridiculous story, right? I mean, if you hold a gun to someone’s head, you obviously have no regard for their life and if you end up pulling the trigger, that’s NOT an accident…)

Well, as it turns out, the jury ONLY convicted him on mitigated murder, because they couldn’t prove he intended to kill her. (OMG…seriously, I’m going to hold a gun to your head, and if it goes off, then uh oh….that was an accident!)

They let him enter an Alford Plea, which means he still maintains he’s innocent, but acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence for him to be sentenced.  They gave him 50 years, with 10 suspended. I felt soooo sorry for her kids. They were interviewed and spoke of how devastated they were, what a great mom she was, and how much they miss her.

After his conviction, law enforcement discovers that, ten years earlier, Kowalski had another girlfriend who he ‘accidentally’ shot. They were at a lodge in Alaska and the owners let them borrow a shotgun in case they had a problem with bears. His story was that, one night they were in bed and he hears what he thought was a bear. He grabs the shotgun and goes to the window to check it out. He is walking across the room and trips over a cord and shoots her in the face. At the time, it was ruled an accident. Now, they reopen the case. They check the statement of people who were staying next door, who stated that they heard loud arguing, then a gunshot. And…here’s the kicker…this girlfriend, Sandy Perry, ALSO had the imprint of the muzzle on her forehead. AND HE WAS NOT CHARGED. Had he been charged and convicted, Rainey Morin would never have been killed, at least not by him.

In his second trial, the jury was unable to determine that he killed his first girlfriend on purpose (WHAT????). They convicted him of second degree murder. Even though there’s nothing ‘funny’ about the tragedy, I had to chuckle a little over something her son said when they interviewed him. He said he didn’t believe it was an accident, he knew the truth. He said, “They argued, and she was being a bitch and he killed her.” – I just thought it was amusing that he worded it that way.

Robert Kowalski was given another 40 year sentences, to be served back to back. (He’ll return to Alaska to serve his second sentence after he serves his first). So…yeah, no picnic for Bobby, and he’ll probably never get out. I am just flabbergasted that they could rule both of these ‘accidental.’

Sooo, what do you think? (I realize there are certain circumstances that must be present when juries are considering a verdict, but the word ‘accident’ should never have been brought up in this case.)


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