Poplar Bluff man sentenced to life in prison after being convict - KMOV.com

Poplar Bluff man sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of killing Drury Inn manager

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Joseph Bowens, 45, was convicted for killing Scott Knopfel at the Drury Inn on Hampton in south St. Louis in January, 2015 Joseph Bowens, 45, was convicted for killing Scott Knopfel at the Drury Inn on Hampton in south St. Louis in January, 2015

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The man convicted of fatally shooting a Drury Inn hotel manager in 2015 has been sentenced to life in prison.

Joseph B. Bowens was arrested by police in Poplar Bluff in March, 2015 and accused of fatally shooting Scott Knopfel at the Drury Inn on Hampton near Interstate 44 in January, 2015.

Bowens was convicted after surveillance video was released that showed him pointing a gun at Knopfel, 50, who was the overnight manager, officials said.

According to police, Bowens came up to the hotel doors, which were locked, but was allowed in by the Knopfel. The man then entered the hotel lobby and engaged in conversation with Knopfel. Bowens then showed a handgun and vaulted the counter.

Police said Knopfel and Bowens engaged in a struggle while the cash drawer was opening. The suspect then shot Knopfel in the head.

Following the shooting, Bowens put his gun back into his waistband and walked out of the hotel.

"We want him put away so he doesn't hurt anyone else ever again and were very pleased with the verdict and sentencing," said Mike Knopfle, the brother od Scott Knopfel.

Bowens had several prior convictions, including narcotics, second-degree robbery and tampering, at the time of the shooting.

During a search of Bowens’ home, police found articles of clothing and a leather jacket that matched the photos taken at the hotel. Police were also able to interview Bowens’ mother who says she believes the man in the photos was her son and a historical GPS trace of his cell phone put Bowens in the vicinity of Sulpher and Hampton at the time of the murder. 

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