Rockford woman speaks out against domestic violence after mother is killed

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — More was learned about the 36-year-old woman that police said was killed by her ex-husband.

Lashawnda Bowser was shot in her car last month, outsider of her home on Lori Drive. Charles Cowart was charged with her murder and was found dead the next day at a hotel, where police said he killed himself.

Tyanna Bowser, Lashawnda’s daughter, said that Cowart and her mom were divorced when the incident happened, and that Cowart would not leave her alone. She now has a message for other women battling domestic violence.

“Don’t do things your own way. Call the police, because you’re gonna need someone to protect you,” Bowser said.

The background on Bowser’s phone is one of the last pictures that the 20-year-old has of her mother, and it is now a constant reminder of a life that was taken too soon.

“Two days before it happened, I’m trying to lay with her in the bed, she’s tickling under my arm, and I’m like, ‘can I just lay her please,'” Bowser said.

It is a moment that Bowser said she will never forget, as Lashawnda was later shot to death in a car outside her home. Police said that Cowart fired the weapon, and then turned the gun on himself a day later in a Bolingbrook hotel.

“In a way I feel like he won, he got what he wanted,” Bowser said. “He’s not hurting her anymore, he’s hurting us. I just feel like he got the easy way out.”

40% of violent crimes in Rockford this year were domestic related. Bowser said her mom was scared of Cowart, even going so far as changing the locks. Bowser said that the day her mom was killed, she was in her car trying to get away from Cowart. However, she said that it only made things worse.

“For awhile, she’d been telling him, like, ‘you have to go,’ but he was such a leach, he sucked the energy from her,” Bowser said.

She is now trying to move forward, keeping the photo on her phone as a reminder of her mom’s love, hoping that no one else will have to share her pain.

“She was sweet overall,” Bowser said. “Even when I was mad at her, just being around her made me happy.”

Bowser has set up a GoFundMe to help support herself and her 9-year-old brother.

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