Las Vegas Sun

March 26, 2019

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Nevada had plans to extradite paroled murderer 7 years ago

A Nevada parole department official has told a Pennsylvania Senate committee that his office was ready to bring a paroled murderer back to Nevada after he was accused seven years ago of assaulting a woman in Willow Grove, Pa.

Reyn Johnson, head of the warrants unit of the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation, told the judiciary panel reviewing the handling of interstate parole matters that a flight had been booked to bring Arthur Bomar, 38, back to prison here.

However, Johnson said, those plans were canceled after the woman died of unrelated causes and charges were dropped. Bomar instead wound up spending seven months behind bars in Pennsylvania in connection with that 1990 assault.

"We no longer had much of a violation," Johnson told the Senate panel that met in Norristown last week.

Bomar, who in 1978 killed a man in Las Vegas following a dispute over a parking space, was charged with murder earlier this month in the June 1996 death of a 22-year-old suburban college student.

Investigators said the student was beaten to death on a highway ramp, and her body was dumped in a North Philadelphia vacant lot.

Charges filed against Bomar include murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse.

After his arraignment earlier this month, he denied killing Aimee Willard, a George Mason University star lacrosse and soccer player. Bomar said prosecutors targeted him because he is black.

Bomar was en route today to a Delaware County jail west of Philadelphia to await a preliminary hearing.

The incident is the latest in a long line of battles Bomar has had within the legal system in two states. At age 19, Bomar got into an argument with then-27-year-old Larry Carrier in front of Bomar's apartment at 150 Hoover Ave., in the predawn hours of July 25, 1978.

Police said Carrier was killed by a single gunshot wound. Bomar was convicted of murder and spent 11 years in prison, including time that was added on for a felony conviction of assaulting another inmate.

After being paroled in 1990 from the original five years-to-life sentence, Bomar was allowed to go to Pennsylvania because he had relatives -- his parents, with whom he lived for a while -- and a job waiting for him.

After five months of freedom, Bomar was back behind bars, charged in November 1990 Willow Grove assault. Over the next seven years, Bomar was arrested four more times and went through five parole agents.

After an assault in 1993, Bomar was given probation, which was served under the supervision of Pennsylvania parole authorities.

In November and December of 1996, he was arrested on theft charges. It was at that point that Bomar reportedly stopped seeing his parole officer. Nevada officials then filed a retainer warrant, which meant that if police captured Bomar he would not be allowed to make bail or otherwise be released.

Authorities began to suspect Bomar in the Willard killing after a young woman reported that someone hit her car on Interstate 95 early on May 29 and urged her to pull over -- the same tactic police believe Willard's killer used. The woman, however, refused to stop and gave the license number to police.

In June, Bomar, a resident of Huntingdon, Pa., was caught trying to break into an apartment in Lower Merion, Pa. Until Tuesday, Bomar had been serving his burglary sentence at a state prison in Camp Hill, Pa.

"A judge signed an order yesterday moving him to Delaware County so he could be closer to his attorney," prison spokesman Ben Livingood said.

Investigators have been building what appears to be a strong case against Bomar.

According to an affidavit, sperm taken from Willard's body matched Bomar's DNA. Also, the tires of the car he was driving were the same make as those apparently used by the killer. And raised ridges on his car's oil pan match markings on Willard's body, the court document says.

Authorities also consider Bomar a suspect in the disappearance of a North Philadelphia woman last March. When Bomar was arrested, he had been driving the car belonging to the missing woman, Maria Cabuenos, 25, a lab technician.

Police found blood in the trunk of the car. DNA tests have confirmed it was Cabuenos' blood, authorities said.

Bomar has not been charged in Cabuenos' disappearance.

Willard, a policeman's daughter, had spent the evening before she was killed drinking with friends at Smokey Joe's bar, police said.

Her car was found on an Interstate 476 exit ramp. Her nude body was discovered two days later several miles from her vehicle.

Police said Bomar has been known to frequent Smokey Joe's and a tavern near the lot where Willard's body was found. Police also said that Bomar's wife, Joyce, said he left their home on June 19 and did not speak with her until after the slaying.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and Philadelphia Inquirer contributed to this report.