Monday, August 6, 2007

Hearing Set for Ex-Funeral Home Owner Charged in Wife's Slaying

A former Rocky Mount funeral home owner is due in court Monday. Mark Bowling is charged with first-degree murder for the death of his wife, Julie. Investigators said Bowling's mistress pulled the trigger, but they both planned the murder.

Mark Bowling will appear in Nash County Superior Court for a pre-trial hearing. He and Rose Vincent are charged with the slaying of Bowling's wife, Julie. Julie Bowling was found shot to death Dec. 8, 2006 inside the couple's garage.

Police said they believe Vincent drove to the Bowlings' home and shot Julie Bowling multiple times. Investigators said Bowling was in Florida at the time of his wife's shooting. Police said Bowling and Vincent were having a romantic relationship.

Ashley Brown, a former stripper, told WRAL she performed for Bowling on several occasions in an apartment above his funeral home. She claims during one of those visits, Bowling asked her to kill his wife.

"He did ask me, 'Did I know anyone to have someone kill his wife or would I be willing to kill his wife, and I thought he was joking,'" Brown said.

Brown shrugged it off until she saw Bowling on TV in handcuffs. She said federal investigators found her through Bowling's phone number, and that's when she told them about his request.

In the past couple of months, the Bowling funeral home was sold along with the couple's private home and most of their possessions to help pay off debt.

In May, Bowling was indicted on charges of trying to get someone else to kill his wife first. He has been in custody at Central Prison in Raleigh while Vincent is in the Nash County jail.

The state announced in February that it would seek the death penalty against Vincent.

Reporter: Bryan Mims

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