From the witness stand, Kim Bowman choked back a sob.
"This man is innocent," Bowman said. "He did not kill that police officer."
Marlon Kiser, shackled behind the defense table, nodded vigorously.
During a hearing Monday on his second post-conviction petition, Bowman told attorneys she lied on the witness stand during Kiser's 2003 trial for the murder of Hamilton County Deputy Donald Bond Jr. The defense successfully argued in that case that Kiser shot Bond to death when Bond tried to stop him from burning down an East Brainerd produce stand early on the morning of Sept. 6, 2001.
Kiser was convicted and sentenced to death. He has always maintained his innocence.
Kiser filed his first post-conviction petition in 2009, alleging his counsel didn't effectively represent him, that he was denied his right to a fair trial and that favorable evidence was excluded.
Bowman, who was an acquaintance of Kiser's former roommate Mike Chattin, said she lied because Chattin threatened her and her children's lives. Bowman said a burly, bearded biker man she assumed was sent by Chattin also cornered her in a Wal-Mart parking lot and told her to keep her mouth shut.
"I was scared to death for my life, my children's lives, sir," Bowman said. "This guy that approached me in Wal-Mart was horrible looking. He was horrible looking."
Chattin was the prosecution's star witness during Kiser's trial. Chattin has since died. But Bowman said Chattin killed Bond because he thought Bond was sleeping with his wife. On the stand Monday, she recalled the night she says he came to her house and told her he had killed the deputy.
"He said "I shot that [expletive] police officer," Bowman told defense attorney Paul Bruno.
Kiser nodded again.
But Bowman told District Attorney General Neal Pinkston she was doing crystal methamphetamine five to six times a day at the time of the shooting. She would go on to serve a 10-year prison term for manufacturing methamphetamine. In 2008, while still in prison, she had a stroke that she says left her unable to remember many dates and events.
During testimony, she struggled to recall what year she was arrested on the drug charges.
"Did crystal meth ever interfere with your daily life?" Pinkston asked.
"It ruined it," Bowman said.
Bowman is sober now, she told Pinkston, and has not snorted methamphetamine in over a decade. She remembers the incident with Chattin for the same reason she said she remembers her father's death -- it was traumatic enough to leave a mark.
She said she doesn't think she ever had a conversation with Kiser, but may have met him once when dropping off a friend.
"I've had this burden on me for all these years," she said.
Still, Pinkston said, Bowman was not present at the fruit stand that night. She admitted that she can't say for sure what happened. Bowman is still on supervised release after her prison sentence. Pinkston asked if lying on the stand now would go against the terms of that release.
"Yes sir," she said. "It's against God."
Kiser is scheduled to appear again in Judge Don Poole's court on Nov. 24.
Contact staff writer Claire Wiseman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (423) 757-6347. Follow her on Twitter @clairelwiseman.