Local News

Stripper: Mortician Talked About Wanting Wife Dead

Posted July 25, 2007 1:03 p.m. EDT
Updated July 26, 2007 9:15 a.m. EDT

— A former escort who says she stripped at the funeral home owned by a Rocky Mount man suspected of plotting to kill his wife said Wednesday that he talked openly about wanting her dead.

Ashley Brown, who used to work at Diamond Escorts in Rocky Mount, said she performed for Mark Bowling in a small apartment above his funeral home on as many as nine occasions.

During one of those visits, Brown said that Bowling asked her whether she was willing to kill his wife, Julie, or if she knew someone who would.

Brown said Bowling was very specific about what he wanted to happen to Julie and why.

"He did ask me to shoot his wife at Golden East Mall, to have her killed where he could get a life policy out on her to get out of his financial binds because his funeral home in Tarboro was getting shut down," she said.

Brown said she thought Bowling, who built and owned a chain of mortuaries with his wife, was joking and wasn't serious about wanting to kill Julie.

Nearly two weeks later, Brown said she saw Bowling on TV in handcuffs, charged with his wife's murder.

Brown said she never slept with Bowling, but only stripped for him.

She said FBI agents looked at phone records, which led them to her. Brown said she then told them about Bowling's request to have someone kill his wife.

Brown's former boss at Diamond Escorts said he believes that she is lying to get out of her own legal trouble, which she denies.

"Now, it's out there that I am a snitch, which I'm not. I am not a liar. I've never killed no one," she said.

Julie Bowling was found dead on Dec. 8 inside the garage of her Rocky Mount home after she failed to appear at Nash General Hospital, where she worked as an oncology therapist.

Authorities later arrested Mark Bowling and Rose Vincent, who police said 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 and plotted to kill his wife.

Bowling is in jail, charged with first-degree murder and trying to solicit murder for hire.

Vincent is also charged with Julie Bowling's death. The state announced in February that it would seek the death penalty against her.

Bowling's attorneys did return calls about Brown's allegation.