After 28 Years a Conviction is Secured in Decades-Old Walker County Murder Case

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A man has been found guilty for a murder committed nearly three decades ago, as revealed by officials on Wednesday.

Back in 1994, just three days before Christmas, the body of James Richard Harris was discovered at the front of his property on Boss Road in Chickamauga. The crime scene indicated a brutal attack, with Harris having been struck in the back of the head and strangled during what appeared to be a robbery.

The circumstances surrounding the crime involved a struggle, as Harris’s pockets were emptied, his boots and belt removed, and his jeans partially pulled down. Despite the presence of a substantial amount of blood, the forensic technology available in 1994 limited the investigation.

In 2005, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) crime lab revisited the case. The updated analysis revealed that the blood at the scene belonged to an individual other than Harris. This crucial information emerged only three years ago, leading to the arrest of Robert Allen Mowry in Nashville.

Robert Allen Mowry

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson disclosed that Mowry had worked alongside Harris at the time of the incident. With a subsequent DNA match connecting Mowry to the crime, District Attorney Clayton Fuller successfully secured a conviction of felony murder.

“Mr. Harris was brutally murdered. They needed peace, they needed to have an understanding of what happened to their father. On Christmas of 1994, they had to bury their father, and so for 28 years, they’ve gone without an answer,” Fuller expressed.

The case was presented to a jury earlier this month, and on Wednesday, officials in Walker County announced Mowry’s conviction for the murder. As part of the sentencing, Mowry is to serve the remainder of his life in prison.

In response to the verdict, the Harris family acknowledged that while this conviction cannot bring their loved one back, it provides a measure of healing for their family after enduring nearly three decades without closure.

Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Press Conference