From Michael Dowda’s appeal:
On November 12, 1996, Michael Blane Dowda was working in Orlando, Florida when he received a message that his girlfriend, Clarissa Lynn Jarrett, was going to a concert with her sister in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Dowda apparently drove non-stop from Orlando to the home he shared with Jarrett in Mississippi. Prior to leaving Florida, however, he obtained a .380 semi-automatic handgun. He arrived in Mississippi at approximately two o’clock in the morning on November 13, 1996. Jarrett arrived home some four hours later.
Dowda confronted Jarrett concerning her whereabouts and an argument ensued. Dowda then threatened to kill himself with the gun. Dowda did not kill himself, but instead removed the clip from the gun, placed the gun in the closet and resumed arguing with Jarrett. At some point in the argument Jarrett admitted to having sexual relations with other men. Dowda then took the gun from the closet, pressed the gun tightly against Jarrett’s head and pulled the trigger, killing her instantly. Dowda apparently believed the gun to be unloaded because he had removed the clip from the gun. Instead, one bullet had remained in the chamber ready to be fired.
Dowda then buried Jarrett’s body in a shallow grave near a hotel in Harrison County. He fled Mississippi several days later after he became the prime suspect in the police investigation. Dowda surfaced in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February 1997, when the woman he was living with at the time contacted the Las Vegas police. She was concerned because she had found several notes written by Dowda indicating that he was wanted for murder in Mississippi. The Las Vegas police confirmed that there was an outstanding warrant for grand larceny for Dowda. The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department also indicated to the Las Vegas police that Dowda was also wanted for questioning over Jarrett’s disappearance.
The Las Vegas police executed the arrest warrant and took Dowda into custody. He gave a statement to the Las Vegas police admitting to his role in Jarrett’s death and directed the police to where her body was buried. Dowda was returned to Mississippi where he was indicted for murder. Dowda waived his right to a jury trial, opting for a bench trial. Following the trial, Dowda was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Michael Blane Dowda v State of Mississippi 2000 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
Family of victim in shock: Escaped killer on the lam
Michael Dowda, Mississippi prison escapee, captured in Georgia
‘Dangerous’ Mississippi escapee captured in Georgia
Nightmare Next Door: Bloodshed in Biloxi
Name: MICHAEL DOWDA
Date of Birth 9/11/1964
Height 5′ 11”
Eye Color BROWN
Hair Color BROWN
Entry Date 1/28/1999
Unit SMCI 1
Location Change Date 4/9/2014 7:28:03 PM
Number of Sentences 1
Total Length LIFE
Sentence Length 1 LIFE
County of Conviction 1 HARRISON
Sentence Date 1
Filed under: crime, Domestic Violence, murder, murder in the 20th Century, Psycho for Love | Tagged: 1996, Clarissa Lynn Jarrett, homicide, Michael Dowda, Mississippi, Psycho for Love, shooting | Leave a comment »