Local News

Authorities: Mortician never asked how wife died

Posted September 25, 2008 12:43 p.m. EDT
Updated September 25, 2008 5:09 p.m. EDT

— A Rocky Mount funeral home owner accused of killing his wife two years ago never asked investigators what happened when they called to tell him she was dead.

Mark Bowling, the former owner of several Bowling Funeral Home operations in eastern North Carolina, is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the Dec. 8, 2006, shooting death of his wife, Julie Bowling.

The trial was moved to Pitt County because the intense publicity around the case in Nash County made it difficult to find impartial jurors.

On Thursday, the eight-woman, four-man jury listened to a phone call between Mark Bowling and an investigator on the case. Assistant Nash County District Attorney Keith Werner pointed out that Bowling never asked what happened to his wife when he was told she had been killed.

Rose Vincent, Bowling's former mistress, pleaded guilty in February to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and has agreed to testify against him.

Vincent, who is serving at least 29 years in prison, admitted that she gunned down Julie Bowling in the garage of the Bowling home but said Mark Bowling had provided her with a map and instructions on how to carry out the crime while he was away on a scuba-diving trip.

She told investigators that she and Mark Bowling were having an affair and that he asked her to kill his wife so they could be together.

Defense attorney Thomas Moore told jurors Wednesday that Vincent killed Julie Bowling on her own, saying she had a "fatal attraction" for Mark Bowling and decided to get his wife out of the way so she could be with him.

Werner told the jury that Bowling badgered Vincent to kill his wife, even though she told him several times she couldn't go through with it.

Testimony is expected to continue Friday.