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Girlfriend of slain Northwest Indian College Professor booked on suspicion of murder

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. ? The girlfriend of the Lummi Nation run Northwest Indian College teacher who was found shot to death last week has been booked into the Whatcom County jail on suspicion of first degree murder.

Naomi Kinney, 31, is being held on $1 million bail for the murder of Timothy Bowman, 43, and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 15.

Kinney became the prime suspect after police detectives found evidence in the couple's Lummi Indian Reservation home, which they also shared with their two young children.

Sheriff's department officials have refused comment on the arrest other than to say that several people were currently being questioned.

Apparently there had been a history of domestic abuse. Bowman's colleague Rebel Harjo was quoted in the Bellingham Herald as saying that Bowman had taken to sleeping in his office for fear of going home at night.

Another colleague, school administrator Dianna Kale, who knew Bowman for 20 years, was quoted in the same story as saying that Bowman had been experiencing relationship difficulties long before coming to Northwest Indian College.

According to Whatcom County Prosecutor Dave McEachran, Kinney had made previous attempts to kill Bowman and has said that he abused her.

Just last month Bowman led the charge among Northwest College faculty in blowing the whistle on an alleged deal Northwest Indian College had made with former president Tommy Lewis. However, officials have not drawn a correlation between the two events.

Bowman was a member of the Anishinabe tribe and a native of Indiana. He had come to Northwest Indian College last year from Oregon State University. He was the son of a minister and taught Indian history, science and education at Northwest Indian College.

A memorial service was held for Bowman on March 11 where Bowman's body lay in a Salmon and Eagle decorated casket crafted by his students.