Bibb County man gets 16 years in prison for helping cousin elude police after murder, kidnapping, assault

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Gary Wade Rowland makes a 2015 court appearance at the Bibb County Courthouse.

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A 49-year-old Centreville man was sentenced to 16 years in prison for helping his cousin evade capture after he kidnapped and assaulted his girlfriend and murdered her sister.

Gary Wade Rowland was sentenced Wednesday in Bibb County Circuit Court, said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. Rowland was a habitual offender with prior convictions for vehicular homicide and drug crimes.

Rowland’s cousin, 63-year-old John Barry Hubbard, pleaded guilty last year and is serving a sentence of life in prison without parole. Hubbard killed Kandi Murphy during his abduction of her sister, Tammy Carpenter. Hubbard had been in a relationship with Carpenter, who had sought a protective order because she feared that he would carry out his threats of violence.

On the afternoon of July 21, 2015, Hubbard was seen by Murphy’s children as he walked out of the woods carrying two guns and came in the back door of Carpenter’s home in Brent. Hubbard shot Murphy multiple times in the presence of her toddler daughter and struck Carpenter with a firearm in the head to subdue and abduct her. Murphy called 911 and stated, “John Barry Hubbard shot me” and that she was dying. When officers arrived, Murphy told them that Hubbard had shot her. She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Evidence showed that Hubbard took Carpenter from Bibb County into the Ocmulgee National Forest in Hale County, where he held her against her will and raped and sodomized her.

The next morning, Rowland came and transported them from the forest to a motel in Greene County in a room that was registered in Rowland’s name. Rowland admitted later that he knew Hubbard was wanted for capital murder after killing Murphy, but nevertheless Rowland wanted to help him because he was family. Rowland came and transported Hubbard and Carpenter from the forest to a hotel in Greene County, where Rowland had registered a room in his name. He also took and hid a long gun on family property in Bibb County. Hubbard continued to terrorize Carpenter, raping and sodomizing her again. After she was able to get a message to staff at a nearby restaurant, an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency tactical team rescued Carpenter and took Hubbard into custody on the evening of July 22.

“It is appropriate that Gary Wade Rowland now faces justice and will serve 16 years in prison,” Marshall said. “He had the opportunity to end John Barry Hubbard’s torment of Tammy Carpenter, and instead he put family above human decency and above the law. Rowland chose to help her tormentor. He made it possible for his cousin to continue brutalizing Tammy Carpenter after Hubbard had coldly murdered her sister Kandi Murphy. A civilized society cannot tolerate a crime such as this.”

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