Local News

Mortician Seeks to Close Murder Case Hearings, Records

Posted August 8, 2007

— Attorneys for a former Rocky Mount funeral home owner charged with having his wife killed want to exclude the public from pre-trial hearings and seal all records in the case.

Mark Bowling is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Julie. She was found shot to death Dec. 8 inside the couple's garage.

Investigators said Rose Vincent pulled the trigger but that Bowling helped her plan the slaying. Bowling and Vincent were in a romantic relationship, according to authorities.

Defense attorneys Thomas Sallenger and Thomas Moore II cited intense publicity in asking for limits on public disclosure about the case.

"There is ... a serious and imminent threat to the fair administration of justice in this case," the attorneys said in their motion. "There is no alternative short of those sought in this motion to preserve (the) defendant's right to a fair trial by an impartial jury and his right to a reliable determination of punishment."

The motion asks that all pre-trial hearings be closed to the media and public, that a gag order be issued to prevent attorneys, witnesses and others connected with the case from commenting publicly about it, that all court records in the case be sealed until at least the start of the trial and that cameras be barred from the trial.

“It would be inappropriate and contrary to the motion to comment. The case should only be tried in court based on evidence presented,” Sallenger told WRAL.

Moore called the motion standard for a first-degree murder case.

"It will be up to the judge to decide, and so far, we haven’t had any hearings on any motions,” he said.

The next pre-trial hearing will likely be the week of Sept. 10, said Nash County Assistant District Attorney Keith Werner, who declined to comment on the motion.

In the past couple of months, Bowling's funeral homes have been sold, as have the couple's home and most of their possessions.

Bowling is being held at Central Prison in Raleigh, while Vincent is in the Nash County Jail. Prosecutors announced in February that they would seek the death penalty against Vincent.


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  • pwilliamson53 Aug 9, 2007

    Sounds like Mark. Thinking he's better than everyone else even down to his trial. He doesn't want the public knowing what kind of piece of @@@@ he truely is. For the public's sake I hope they are allowed to sit in on his trail, I for one would love too. This man and his almighty ways, have more, got more, seen more attitude deserves nothing more than to rot in hell. He didn't give Julie an option, so why should his trial be any different than any other trial. Giving into his demands would only play into his almighty attitude. His life became public news when he planned this murder. That pitiful frown on his face is a far cry from the Mark that boosted about his wealth, material things. Does he think people will feel sorry for him. I say "H@@@NO!" Give him death cause Julie deserves it. To Julie's family may you get the pleasure of seeing him found guilty and sentenced to death.

  • momofthreeinFV Aug 8, 2007

    justacceptit- you are right, I was being a little cruel. So I will say give them 1 year and then fry them!

  • Lookelou Aug 8, 2007

    Send him to the testicle doctor, then the leg doctor, then the hand doctor, etc, etc, ets

  • ImJustSayin Aug 8, 2007

    As for the letter mentioned...am I the only one that reads "I'm innocent, do this, call them, get in touch with so-and-so" and the, almost as an afterthought ImissandloveJuliebye"

    I'm just sayin'....

  • wahiya44 Aug 8, 2007

    I don't think that Mark Bowling should be allowed to get his trial barred from the public. I also think that is a way his attorney may be trying to cut him some slack. I feel justice should be served.

  • msncdso Aug 8, 2007

    The only reason I can think of to hold the publicity down is the fact that it is probably giving his attorneys a basis for trial, after trial, after trial.

  • Timbo Aug 8, 2007

    It's like closing the barn door after the horse already got out. What a knucklehead.

  • WhatYaGonnaDoNow Aug 8, 2007

    momofthreeinFV - as much as I don't want my tax money paying for these idiots on death row either, I'd still be again a 24hr turn around. There have been people wrongly convicted being released after years for crimes they didn't commit based on new DNA tests. How would you feel knowing you just killed a guy after 24hrs on death row only to find out s/he was the wrong one after all? Now, on the other hand, if there is no shadow of a doubt this person was guilty of the crime. DNA and everything completely points to this person, then 24hrs would be great but they haven't suffered enough for me. How about at least 1 week physical attention by other inmates and then the firing squad?

  • Bing Used Aug 8, 2007

    I am not supporting Bowling, I do not have all the facts. It is easy to assume him guilty. But I try to believe you are innocent until proven guilty. Maybe his mistress thought she could have Bowling all to herself if she got rid of the wife. But then again, there was enough evidence to arrest him and keep him.

    We had a loved one passed away just before the murder and Bowling handled it and he did tell a lot of things and this case makes you feel betrayed and that makes the loss of your love one that much worse.

  • Seeminglyopposed Aug 8, 2007

    You are correct sir- R U the woman in Nash County that is supporting him? Just asking because of your defense of this man. If he had nothing to hide, why hide it? And please don't say it is nobody's business, he made it that way.