Local News

Gag Order Issued for Mortician's Murder Trial

Posted January 30, 2008

— A judge on Wednesday issued an order for court personnel not to say anything outside court during the upcoming trial of a former Rocky Mount funeral-home owner on charges he had his wife killed.

Mark Bowling is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Julie. She was found shot to death Dec. 8, 2006, inside the couple's garage.

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

Citing the intense publicity surrounding the case, Bowling's attorneys asked last fall that all pretrial 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.

Wednesday, they narrowed that to preventing people connected with the case from talking about it outside the courtroom. Nash County Assistant District Attorney Keith Werner also requested a gag order for the trial, but attorneys for WRAL and other media outlets argued against the motion.

Superior Court Judge Quentin Sumner combined the prosecution and defense requests into an order against "extra-judicial" comments by court personnel. It was unclear whether that includes witnesses in the case.

Sumner was expected to hear several pretrial motions in the case Wednesday. Members of Mark Bowling's and Julie Bowling's families attended the hearing.

Bowling has been in Central Prison in Raleigh for the past year awaiting trial, and his attorneys asked that Sumner set a bond so Bowling can be released to help prepare for the trial. Sumner refused.

No trial dates have been set for Bowling or Vincent, who will be tried separately. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty against both.

Defense attorneys also argued unsuccesffully that the evidence against Bowling didn't amount to a capital offense, so the death penalty shouldn't be considered.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • ooooooooooooooooo Feb 1, 2008

    No problem. What was the name of your florist? I have been here most of my life and know a lot of the older names and faces. Mark was a transplant but no Julie. She came from a really fine family. Why did you leave RM and where do you live now? Have a great weekend and enjoy.

  • shine Jan 31, 2008

    I understand.. I had a florist shop and serviced the Bowling facilities..... not them directly but the funerals. I have met both Mark and Julie. I guess we had a typo or misundersting about what we knew.... No problems..

  • ooooooooooooooooo Jan 31, 2008

    There were other investors (large). From my understanding, he was already in business (RM) when they married. This is where the large investors came in. Rumor has it, they even got married at the location in RM. Your apology is accepted.;-) Glad not to be involved in this. Though, I would be interested in serving jury duty at this particular trial. Which I am sure I would not be called. Have a wonderful day!

  • shine Jan 31, 2008

    OOOOO . I was sying that She ( being the wife or her family ) were investors. I was not questioning your gender. The Tarboro facility was constructed by a close friend of mine. I was originally from Tarboro, and I know there was not a building there before, and there was nothing on that property before and I know who bought it afterwards..... Sorry for the misinterpretation.....

  • shine Jan 30, 2008

    ooooooooo. You may be right - about the investors. I think she was one of them or her family. They built a new facility in Tarboro, and they had one in Scotland Neck, and I think Enfield. The Tarboro facility may have been a situation because it was a ground up operation.

  • ooooooooooooooooo Jan 30, 2008

    Shine what makes you say, she is the one that had all the $ and put him in business? Local investors were the reason they were in business. Most were silent investors. The Bowlings did pay off the investors by having a good business and reputation at that time. They borrowed $ from financial institutes later in the days of their business to purchase older established funeral homes around the area. His buddy on the diving trip to Florida is no longer in the real estate business. He is now selling insurance and is no longer a t.v. host on a local channel.

  • Doctor Dataclerk Jan 30, 2008

    Anyone dumb enough to have a spouse killed like this and think that they would get away with it should be executed to keep his gene pool from spreading.

  • shine Jan 30, 2008

    He was in Fla. scuba diving with a friend of his, when this all occurred. He set it up - Julie was on to him, I am not sure if was cell phone stuff - or what but if I remember when it happened she was keeping a journal and I think they found it in her locker at the hospital maybe with the help of a coworker. There was a stripper from Tarboro that he was seeing and according to her - he originally asked to kill his wife. She said it was not enough money.... not that she would I think she just wanted to get out of there. I think the new funeral home in Tarboro was taking him down, and he thought he was going to collect the life insurance money off of Julie. It is ridiculous because I think she had all of the money anyway that put him in business. He had at least 4 different locations.

    Julie was a very nice person - sweet and kind.

  • pwilliamson53 Jan 30, 2008

    He deserves no less that death. He made his choice when he planned to have her killed. She knew to much on him and he was going down without a dime. He planned months in advance bragging about the fishing trip. Take him out of confinement and let him live the normal prison life. He deserves no special treatment,let the public know what he & his girlfriend done. May he rot.

  • REDRD Jan 30, 2008

    He was in Florida fishing, but with another man from Rocky Mount, NOT Roy Cooper. The man he was with has been in the Real Estate business for some time and he's also a local TV talk show host wannabe.