Crime & Courts

Rosewood murder suspect gets out of jail

‘Her house is full of blood’: Hear 911 call that started a Columbia murder investigation

On August 9, Peggy Bowers returned from the grocery store to the house of Joan Staub's and found the door open. Inside she found Staub's body. Here is the 911 call from the incident.
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On August 9, Peggy Bowers returned from the grocery store to the house of Joan Staub's and found the door open. Inside she found Staub's body. Here is the 911 call from the incident.

Peggy Roberta Bowers is free for now.

After getting bond, Bowers, the suspect in an August slaying, will await her trial outside jail. She was released May 9, court records show.

Judge Bentley Price gave Bowers a $25,000 surety bond which was posted by Georgia Carolina Bail Bonds.

Price ordered six months house arrest for Bowers but didn’t require her to wear an ankle monitor, court documents say. She can visit her doctor and attorney, the judge stipulated, but Bowers’ house arrest means if she’s seen outside the home for any other reasons, she could be jailed again. Bowers is required to stay with her daughter in Aiken County, Deputy Solicitor April Sampson said.

In September, authorities charged Peggy Bowers in connection with Joan Staub’s death at her Huntington Avenue home in Columbia’s Rosewood neighborhood. Both were well known in the community and seemingly close friends. Community members and people who knew the two well said Staub took in Bowers, who was often homeless and who sought mental health treatment, according to people close to her. Staub’s killing, which a 911 call and autopsy indicated was committed with a baseball bat, darkened the close-knit community.

Bowers’ release comes after she spent seven months in Richland County jail. During that time a judge ordered a mental competency evaluation to see if Bowers was fit to stand trial. That evaluation was completed in April. The results are withheld from the public but a judge will review the findings and order that the trial against Bowers move forward or that she be committed to the Department of Mental Health.

Bowers is represented by Richland County Public Defender Robert Bank, court documents say.

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.

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