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Thursday, 14 August 2008

William (Billy) Bowden pleaded guilty in a Winnipeg courtroom today to carrying a firearm in a careless manner in January 2007

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William (Billy) Bowden, 33, pleaded guilty in a Winnipeg courtroom today to carrying a firearm in a careless manner in January 2007 and skipping out on his preliminary hearing about a year later. Other drug and weapons charges related to the 2007 incident were stayed as part of a plea bargain securing the two convictions.
Bowden remains in custody though, charged with manslaughter in relation to the November 2007 killing of Jeff Engen, who was fatally stabbed at the Empire Cabaret, prompting the club to close. That charge remains before the courts.
Bowden has been in custody since he was arrested Feb. 14 in Whistler, B.C., and returned to Manitoba. The Crown and defence jointly recommended that time be noted in his sentence for carrying the firearm. That crime occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2007, as Bowden was leaving the NV lounge in a truck with friend Ken Houston, court heard. Police discovered a Glock 9mm handgun loaded with 18 bullets in a pile of garbage close to where they arrested Bowden and Houston in a back lane off Corydon Avenue. Bowden admitted today to having carried the gun, which his lawyer Sheldon Pinx told court was "for his own protection." Bowden had also been charged with ecstasy possession and other weapons offences in relation to the same arrest, but those five charges were stayed. Pinx told court the plea bargain was partly a result of "exigencies with evidenciary issues" related to the case and a potential Charter challenge related to the way Bowden was arrested that night.
Bowden, once a full-patch member of the local Hells Angels chapter, was apparently asked to leave the gang last year, according to a source

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