COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - It took close to seven years, but a contractor at the center of an 11 Call for Action investigation has now been sentenced.
George William Bowen stood in an El Paso County courtroom Friday and pleaded guilty to five felony theft charges. The Call for Action probe started back in the summer of 2010.
A group of people waited out in the hallway and then filed into an El Paso County courtroom after more than six years of waiting. They all say they were duped by a slick-talking roofing contractor named George William Bowen, who operated Greenlife Exteriors.
Facing 12 felony counts, Bowen, who's 59, took a plea deal, admitting he was guilty of five felony counts of theft.
Bowen's victims told 11 News anchor Betty Sexton they signed contracts with him, handed him their insurance checks, and then waited for roofs that he promised to install -- but never did.
These folks now have a hard time trusting anybody.
Ted Parlin told Sexton, “I haven't answered a phone call or talked to anybody who comes to my door since."
Alice Lodes said, “It will be with me until I die, the trauma."
Terri Roney explained, "He took advantage of so many people and so many people who didn't have any resources and were vulnerable. It's just shameful."
As we've reported, Bowen took off to Mexico after he was charged in El Paso County and was deported to Colorado after someone spotted him in Playa del Carmen. His plea deal means he'll spend four years behind bars.
Norman Hamel said, “I have mixed emotions about that … sometimes I feel like the law goes very slow."
Monica Staab explained, “I'm glad that finally we're going to get a little bit of justice and he's going to be in a Colorado jail for a little while."
Pete Beuse said, “People like that should be locked up for a lot longer than he's going to be locked up."
Bowen said he felt sorry for his victims and was very remorseful, blaming his problems on health issues. He claims he has an aggressive plan to pay them back.
A lot of lessons learned putting together this story. One of them: hire roofers who are established in our community and then ask for references and check them out. Also, call Pikes Peak Regional Building Department to make sure the contractors are licensed to do business here and have no complaints against them.
Thanks to the kindness of other local contractors, the victims were able to get new roofs. They include: Abello’s Roofing, Aspen Roofing, Fixins Home Services, Front Range Roofing, Holiday Grace Roofing, and Pine Creek Roofing.