ROCKVILLE, Maryland (CBS/AP) Renee Bowman maintained the cold, inscrutable demeanor she has displayed throughout her murder trial as a judge sentenced her to two consecutive life sentences plus 75 years for the torture and murder of two of her foster daughters, whose bodies she stored in a freezer for months after they were killed.
"I am very sorry for the abuse of the girls," she told Montgomery County Circuit Judge Michael J. Algeo, displaying no emotion. "It haunts me. It haunts me every day."
The bodies of Minnet and Jasmine Bowman were discovered in Lusby, a southern Maryland community about 80 miles south of Baltimore, in a locked freezer in September 2008. Authorities searched the home after a third sister escaped from the house and was found wandering the neighborhood.
Investigators concluded Bowman had killed the girls months before, while the family was living in Rockville, Md., and took the freezer with her as she moved around. Even after the girls were dead, she continued to collect subsidies paid to adoptive parents of special-needs children.
Prosecutors painted Bowman as a sadist who derived pleasure from her children's misery as she kept them in a locked room with a bucket for a toilet. All three girls had severe injuries from repeated beatings, and none of them ever went to school. The surviving girl, now 9, testified at the trial that Bowman beat them with a shoe and a baseball bat and repeatedly choked them until they lost consciousness.
As he handed down the sentence, the maximum allowed under Maryland law, Algeo seemed to acknowledge the inadequacy of the punishment, for the crime.
"You sentenced these two young innocent children in the dawn of their lives to a death chamber, and for you that option is not available," Algeo said.