Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 24, 2012

Cynthia Stowe won't face charges

Judge's ex-wife was arrested Sept. 6 in Cocoa Beach, Fla.


TRAVERSE CITY — A judge's ex-wife won't face a felony child abuse charge in Florida.

Cynthia Stowe, ex-wife of Grand Traverse County Probate Judge David Stowe, was arrested in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Sept. 6. Police there sought charges of felony child abuse and battery domestic violence, but authorities said they won't prosecute.

"We couldn't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt," said David C. Koenig, an assistant state attorney involved in the case.

An arrest report from Florida contains accusations Stowe assaulted two victims, 17 and 18, after she drank alcohol. She was in an argument with one of the victims about her consumption of alcohol at the time of the incident, police said.

Koenig said he believed the two victims were Stowe's sons.

Stowe's attorney in Florida, Michael Bross, didn't return a call for comment.

Stowe was on probation in Grand Traverse County for contempt of court and drunken driving. Benzie Circuit Judge James M. Batzer and 86th District Judge Thomas J. Phillips, who are handling her charges, both allowed her to move to Florida in separate July hearings.

She was ordered to continue reporting by phone to probation officers here, but Phillips and Batzer recently signed warrants for her arrest because she failed to comply with probation terms here after she moved south.

Among other problems, Stowe failed to provide results of breath tests, forged an Alcoholics Anonymous form and failed to call in to report, 86th District Court Administrator Carol Stocking said previously.

Stowe assaulted her then-husband David Stowe in their Long Lake Township home in January. That case eventually was resolved in a plea deal that added one year of probation to her drunken driving arrest, though she violated bond and was charged with perjury after authorities said she lied in a bond violation hearing.

The perjury charge was dismissed when she pleaded guilty to contempt of court. David Stowe won't run again after he completes his second six-year term in December.