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Jury unable to reach verdict in case of restaurant owner's slaying

bowers (copy)

Michaele Bowers was on trial for first-degree murder in the shooting of her longtime partner and J's Place owner Raymond Ingram. In this file photo, she appears in court shortly after her arrest in 2017. She has now entered a no contest plea to voluntary manslaughter. The plea comes after a jury was unable to reach a verdict in two prior jury trials.

A Kern County jury was again unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a Bakersfield woman who shot and killed her longtime partner in 2017. 

A mistrial was declared Monday when a jury, which had been deliberating for about a week, informed the court Monday before noon that it was unable to arrive at a decision in the case of Michaele Bowers, who was accused of intentionally killing Ray Ingram, the owner of soul food restaurant J's Place, out of jealousy over another woman he was seeing.

The prosecution alleged that Bowers killed Ingram after allegedly learning that he had bought flowers for both her and a woman he had recently fathered a child with on Valentine's Day in 2017.

But David Torres, Bowers' defense attorney, argued that she shot Ingram in self-defense, and had the absolute right to do so after Ingram became enraged while at her home to return items when the two decided to break up. 

Bowers was tried for the first time last year. That case also resulted in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial.

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