Jamal Rogers, left, and Antonio Mathis, right, both 22, were each charged with kidnapping, assault with intent to murder and conspiring to commit 1st degree murder during a video arraignment from the Macomb County jail. / Photos courtesy Warren police.
DETROIT - The men accused of burning and shooting a pregnant Detroit woman appeared in court Tuesday on attempted murder charges, just hours after the woman gave birth to a boy.
Jamal R. Rogers, 22, and Antonio V. Mathis, 22, were arraigned at the 37th District Court in Warren, Mich., on kidnapping, attempted murder and conspiracy charges. The charges, said Warren police, stem from a plot that started in March because Rogers did not want to take responsibility for the child.
The conditions of Latonya Bowman, 22, and her son were unavailable Tuesday. Judge Matthew Sabaugh denied bail for both men, leaving them in the Macomb County Jail until their next court appearance June 7.
READ: Pregnant Woman Survives Being Kidnapped, Set On Fire, Shot
Warren Police Detective Paul Houtos testified that one of the men could be seen on surveillance video Friday buying duct tape, gloves and a rope from a hardware store. Rogers was arrested Saturday morning. Mathis was arrested Sunday afternoon.
Warren Deputy Police Commissioner Louis Galasso said Mathis purchased the items. "It's just so difficult to get your head wrapped around the crime," he said.
Houtos and Galasso described how Rogers lured Bowman into his garage early Saturday under the guise of reconciliation.
While Rogers looked on, Mathis pointed a gun at Bowman, duct taped her eyes, mouth and hands, and shoved her into the back seat of her car. She was in her ninth month of pregnancy.
Galasso said Rogers texted Bowman during the ordeal, but would not elaborate on the texts. Bowman's cell phone has not been found.
After driving her to a field in Detroit near Interstates 75 and 94, Houtos said Mathis doused her with lighter fluid, lit her on fire and after she fell out of the car in an effort to roll out the flames, he shot twice, hitting her once in the upper back. Police haven't found the gun.
Bowman played dead, and Mathis left, police said, but wouldn't elaborate on the possibility that a third person picked him up. Rogers apparently watched the kidnapping, and then went back in the house.
Bowman drove herself to a gas station a few miles north on I-75 and called her mother, who helped her get to William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., where Warren Police were called at about 3:30 a.m., Galasso said.
She went into labor Monday afternoon, and had an emergency cesarean section about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Galasso said Bowman's family still fears retaliation so the name of the hospital was not disclosed. Rogers has two other children, ages 3 and 1. Police did not know whether Bowman had other children.
Galasso said the men met in 2009, and that they lived in the Warren home with Rogers' mother and Rogers' girlfriend. It looks like Mathis agreed to kill Rogers as a favor, and not for payment, Galasso said.
Both Rogers and Mathis have criminal records, with Rogers pleading guilty to unarmed robbery in 2009, among other crimes, and Mathis convicted several times of dealing in stolen cars. Mathis was on parole at the time of the kidnapping.
Detroit Free Press