Macon County Chronicle

THP Captures Kentucky Fugitive in Macon County

Lieutenant William “Butch” Avera, of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, arrested 21-year-old James Edward Bowman, who was wanted on felony drug charges in Allen County, Kentucky, and 27-year-old Layla Dawn Braswell on Thursday, July 30th, after discovering several illegal prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia in their vehicle during a routine traffic stop.

Avera, who was following the white, Mitsubishi Galant driven by Braswell, activated his blue lights after witnessing the vehicle traveling 25 mph in a 40 mph zone and failing to stop at the stop sign located at the intersection of Highway 10 and Highway 52.

After turning into the Lafayette Wal-Mart parking lot, Braswell exited the vehicle, appeared to be under the influence and was not in possession of her driver’s license. After an unsatisfactory standardized field sobriety test result, she was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence, failure to carry her driver’s license and running a stop sign.

After being taken to the Macon County Jail, Braswell admitted to being under the influence of Xanax, Morphine, Hydrocodone and Tylenol and a blood test was administered.

Passenger Bowman, who Avera noticed was making movements around the glove box and his personal areas during the traffic stop, was removed from the vehicle and arrested after a warrant check exhibited the Kentucky felony drug warrant.

According to Lieutenant Avera’s incident report, Bowman was discovered to have a cellophane bag hidden in his underwear that contained Xanax and Morphine pills and, after being advised of his Miranda Rights, gave authorities the location of a bottle containing 88 prescription pills that were hidden in the spare tire compartment of the vehicle.

A thorough search of the vehicle also led to the discovery of a loaded .22 caliber pistol, located in the glove box, rolling papers and other drug paraphernalia beside his seat.

After admitting to the ownership of the items, Bowman was booked into the Macon County Jail and charged with unlawful possession of weapon, two counts of possession of Schedule II narcotics and possession of a Legend Drug. Bowman was also charged with being a fugitive from justice.

Allen County detectives planned to question both Bowman and Braswell on Friday, July 31st, in reference to items found in the trunk that may have been stolen in Kentucky. Lieutenant Avera was assisted by Trooper Neal Ferguson and Macon County Sheriffs Department Deputy Michael Veatch during the traffic stop, and by Macon County Sheriffs Department Detective Darryl Taylor at the Macon County Jail during the follow-up investigation.

Bowman and Braswell are scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on August 19th.