DETROIT – A Detroit woman who was set on fire and shot during a weekend attack gave birth to a boy Tuesday, hours before her former boyfriend was charged with attempted murder in what police say was a bizarre plot to have her killed because he didn't want another child.
Latonya Bowman was abducted, bound, set on fire and shot over the weekend. Police said she survived the attack by rolling on the ground to extinguish the flames and feigning death.
"The courage and survival instinct that she had was nothing sort of remarkable," said Lou Galasso, the deputy police commissioner in Warren. The attack was "every adjective associated with heinous and horrific that one can use."
The former boyfriend, Jamal Rogers, and another man were denied bail during a Tuesday court appearance in Warren.
According to police, Bowman, 22, went to a drive-in movie with Rogers on Friday night and drove him home after midnight. In the garage, a man pointed a gun at Bowman, bound her with duct tape, forced her into the back seat of her car and drove her to a vacant Detroit field, where he doused Bowman in lighter fluid and set her on fire.
"She wiggles out of the back seat and attempts to put the flame out by rolling around on the ground," Galasso said. "She then hears two gunshots, one of which struck her in the back shoulder. She played dead. The suspect fled the scene."
Police believe Rogers, 22, orchestrated the attack and followed in another vehicle. When questioned by officers, the ex-boyfriend "made incriminating statements that he did not desire a third child," Galasso said. Rogers has two children with other women.
Once her attacker had fled, Bowman got into her vehicle, drove to a phone and called her mother.
Rogers and the alleged attacker, Antonio Mathis, 22, were charged with attempted murder and other crimes. Both men were denied bail and requested court-appointed lawyers.
In court, police said the men were friends and had first discussed the plot in March.
Bowman has burns on her forehead and torso but is expected to recover. The baby boy, delivered in an emergency cesarean section, was in intensive care at a Detroit-area hospital, which Galasso declined to identify. Bowman was three weeks away from her due date.
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