GULFPORT -- A Harrison County jury on Wednesday night found a Pass Christian man guilty in the murder of his girlfriend, who was stabbed 29 times in her face, shoulders, chest and back, District Attorney Joel Smith said.
Circuit Judge Roger Clark sentenced Ira Bowser to life in prison for the slaying of 33-year-old Shabree Page on June 9, 2012.
Page was a longtime employee of the Kangaroo Express in Diamondhead and was known to many as "Breezy" and "Smiley."
Bowser, 35, was sentenced as a habitual offender. He had been convicted of aggravated assault in 1998 and was on probation for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of marijuana from convictions in 2006 and 2007.
Smith said a hotel employee testified Bowser went to the hotel a couple of hours after the stabbing and told the employee to call police because he had just killed someone.
Pass Christian police had become concerned about Page because her car had been found abandoned in Long Beach. Police discovered Page at her home on East North Street covered in blood and unresponsive with her 4-year-old daughter nearby.
Pass Christian police and members of the Gulfport Police Department's crime-scene unit testified they lifted fingerprints and DNA from the scene, tying Bowser to the crime.
Bowser's attorney argued for a lesser charge, manslaughter, saying the stabbing happened during a fight and he did not intend to kill Page.
"This was a senseless murder of a mother in her own home that arose out of domestic violence," said Smith.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Crosby Parker and Mitch Owen.
Bowser also faces a charge of aggravated assault. While held on the murder charge, he allegedly stabbed a fellow inmate Dec. 6 and blinded the man in the right eye.
Saul Brown, 37, was sitting at a table in a day room doing "dips," exercising his arm muscles, and had his back to Bowser as Bowser approached him, an affidavit said.
Corrections officers have testified Brown told them Bowser walked up and said, "I'm a killer. I'm a killer," and attacked him with a homemade metal shank resembling a knife.
A jail video shown in court showed Bowser walk up and stab Brown five times while Brown tried to get away. Investigators said they found the shank.