Bowden not involved in invasion
Since January, investigators have said that Mark Bowden was the second suspect in a home invasion and beating on Jan. 27 near Alta Sierra.
Thursday, authorities admitted they have believed for months that he was not involved in the robbery, and that an investigation is ongoing to locate the man who helped convicted home invader Terry Pettigrew commit the robbery.
“He was not directly involved in the robbery,” Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson said of Bowden Thursday.
Bowden was first labeled a suspect in the robbery for two reasons, Wolfson said:
• Witnesses gave false reports to investigators.
• When Bowden was arrested in Sacramento County after a high-speed pursuit, he was high on methamphetamine and falsely bragged that he took part in the home invasion.
In the Jan. 27 attack, two masked men broke into the Quail Creek Road home of 49-year-old Richard R. Mayer. Mayer was asleep on a couch when he was woken up by one of robbers. The second man, who was standing behind Mayer, hit him over the head with a golf putter.
One of the men revealed what looked like a large revolver – which Wolfson said has been determined to be a pellet gun – and demanded money. Mayer gave them a a jar of coins and casino chips from his bedroom.
The robbers then put Mayer on top of his bed and tied him up with an electrical cord.
Pettigrew was arrested two days later after a chase through downtown Nevada City. He pleaded “no contest” to charges of first-degree burglary and assault after he was connected to a Jan. 8 home invasion, where he broke into his step-grandmother’s home on North Ponderosa Way and hit the woman over the head with a flashlight. She suffered a broken forearm and severe head injuries.
Pettigrew stole about one pound of medicinal marijuana in that home invasion. He was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison Tuesday. Wolfson said there was not much evidence for a jury to convict him of one of the home invasions and that is why he was offered a plea bargain.
Bowden was caught in a similar violent confrontation in Sacramento County by Nevada County investigators a few days after Pettigrew. He fled in a car after ramming sheriff’s cruisers and colliding with one of the detectives. He was eventually tackled on foot by investigators.
In court documents, Bowden told investigators that he tried to run away because he thought his car might get carjacked.
Bowden’s mother, Debbie Bowden-Rebholz, said Thursday that she and her family knew for several months that her son was not a suspect in the Jan. 27 robbery, but that she was asked by detectives not to reveal that because it would threaten their investigation.
“This has been really hard on all of us, especially Mark,” Bowden-Rebholz said.
Bowden is guilty of possession of property that was stolen from the Alta Sierra home, and is scheduled to be sentenced on that charge on Sept. 23.
Wolfson said detectives know who Pettigrew’s accomplice actually was, but did not release the suspect’s name. Bowden-Rebholz said the man left California soon after Pettigrew was arrested.
The district attorney said when detectives finish their investigation of the suspect, they will pursue him even if he is out of the state.
“We believe he knows he is a suspect,” Wolfson said.
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