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Crime Q&A: What happened to Stanislaus County man accused of wife’s 1997 stabbing death?

Q: In 1997, Kathy Lynn Owens, 39, was killed in Stanislaus County by a man named Bobby Lee Scroggins. What was the outcome in this case?

Monica, Sacramento

A: A Stanislaus County jury convicted Bobby Lee Scroggins of second-degree murder in the September 1997 stabbing death of his wife, Kathy Lynn Owens-Scroggins.

The conviction was Scroggins’ third strike under California’s “three strikes” law, resulting in a sentence of 45 years to life in prison – three times the usual 15-years-to-life sentence – plus an additonal 11 years, according to stories in The Modesto Bee. Now 65 years old, Scroggins is at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville.

Scroggins reportedly had begun abusing his wife shortly after they were married. The abuse escalated and Owens-Scroggins decided to leave her husband. According to stories in The Modesto Bee, the defense attorney acknowledged that Scroggins stabbed his wife, but argued that it was a crime of passion and was not premeditated.

Twice before, however, Scroggins had been convicted of nonfatal stabbings of a longtime companion.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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