Carla Bousman Appears in Jail Court, Pleads Not Guilty to Escape Charge
POLK COUNTY, Iowa – A woman serving 20 years in prison in connection with the death of her adoptive granddaughter, Sabrina Ray, was back before a judge Thursday after officials say she escaped from prison in May.
Carla Bousman, 64, made her jail court appearance Thursday morning on the escape charge. She entered a not guilty plea to the class D felony charge and her next hearing was scheduled for July 11th.
Bousman was transferred to the Polk County Jail Wednesday to face prosecution on a charge of escape, from an incident at the Iowa Correctional Institution in Mitchellville on May 2nd.
A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections, Cord Overton, says Bousman had been placed in a “minimum live-out” unit. The units are outside of the prison fence and allow for inmates to work jobs outside the prison, under supervision, and return to the prison at night.
Staff noticed Bousman walking away from the unit the morning of May 2nd.
Court documents show she was taken back into custody half a mile east of the prison.
Bousman will remain in the Polk County Jail until the conclusion of the escape case.
Bousman was serving time for convictions on two counts of false imprisonment, one count of neglect of a dependent person, one count of obstruction of prosecution, one count of accessory after the fact, and two counts of child endangerment in the 2017 death of Sabrina Ray.
The 16-year-old weighed just 56 pounds when she was found unresponsive at the family’s home in May 2017.
Bousman and four other family members were sentenced after convictions related to Sabrina Ray’s death.
Marc and Misty Ray, Sabrina’s adoptive parents, were sentenced in January. Misty will spend the rest of her life in prison and is not eligible for parole. Marc was sentenced to 80 years in prison and must serve 35 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Adoptive brother Justin Ray was sentenced to 10 years in prison and adoptive cousin Josie Bousman was sentenced to serve up to 14 years in prison.