Murder suspect to appear in court
Nearly a year after being held on a rarely utilized charge as investigators attempted to piece together a murder case against him, a man accused of killing a Carthage woman and dumping her body on a Lebanon street is set to appear in court.
Bennie L. Evans, 56, is scheduled to go before Wilson County Criminal Court Judge J.O. Bond on Monday in a court appearance that could result in a trial date for the defendant.
Evans, of Carthage, is charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of Denise Dowell, also of Carthage, whose body was found on a street inside the Inman Court public housing development last Oct. 19.
Evans was initially held on the rarely used abuse of a corpse charge as investigators probed the killing of Dowell, described as the suspect's live-in girlfriend.
He was later indicted on first-degree murder charges with authorities eventually identifying a domestic dispute as the motive in the slaying.
"We believe it was some kind of domestic altercation," Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said at the time Evans was charged in the slaying.
Authorities have alleged that Evans killed his 53-year-old victim at the home they shared in Carthage and then drove her body to Lebanon before dumping it on the side of the street, where it was noticed a short while later by a passing motorist who contacted authorities.
Though investigators never officially revealed how Dowell died, Bowen said at the time Evans was charged that "the MO was similar" to circumstances surrounding the suspect's second-degree murder conviction in Shelby County in the 1980s.
In that case, records show Evans was found guilty of strangling a live-in girlfriend in a domestic dispute. Records show he remained in prison on the conviction until 2002, when he apparently moved to Carthage.
Evans has remained in custody under $100,000 bond since his arrest.
Senior Staff Writer Brooks Franklin can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 14 or by e-mail at email@example.com.