'Brutal' killer sentenced nearly 15 years after Upstate man's bo - FOX Carolina 21

'Brutal' killer sentenced nearly 15 years after Upstate man's body found in VFW

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James Bolt (file/FOX Carolina) James Bolt (file/FOX Carolina)
Arthur Jason Bowers. (Source: Eighth Circuit Solicitor's Office). Arthur Jason Bowers. (Source: Eighth Circuit Solicitor's Office).
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Solicitor's Office said the man who killed a 76-year-old Upstate man in 2003 has learned his fate.

More than a decade ago, investigators found the body of James "Jim" Bolt in a pool of blood at the VFW where he worked on East Main Street. Then-police chief Robin Morse described it as the most brutal attack he had ever seen.

In 2015, investigators with the Laurens Police Department, with the help of the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office, arrested Arthur Jason Bowers in connection with the murder.

He was convicted on Thursday of murder, criminal conspiracy and armed robbery. 

Bowers was sentenced to five years for conspiracy, 30 years for armed robbery and 50 years for the murder charge. 

The investigation began when Doyle Wayne Roberts was arrested on an unrelated charge and told police his mother, Brenda Roberts, had washed the clothes of Bowers and another individual after Bolt's murder. 

Brenda Roberts was found guilty of accessory after the fact to murder in 2017 and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Circuit Judge Frank Addy said Roberts was "sentenced to one year in prison for every year justice for James Bolt had been denied." 

Bowers was not eligible for the sentence of life without parole since he was a minor at the time of the crime.

The Solicitor's Office released the following statement after the sentencing: 

"The heinous and brutal killing of Mr. James Bolt, a well-respected man, rocked the Laurens community in 2003, and a piece of our innocence was taken. While we can never get that piece of innocence back, we can and will pursue those like A.J. Bowers who steal it for as long as necessary to bring them to justice. It is my hope and prayer that this day in court will be another major step towards peace and closure for Mr. Bolt's entire family." 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Police: Man charged with murder in 2003 Laurens homicide case

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