Former home invasion suspect gets probation
Mark Bowden, the Grass Valley man once suspected of taking part in a January home-invasion robbery near Alta Sierra, was sentenced Thursday to five years of supervised probation and ordered to attend two years of drug counseling for receiving stolen property from the home where the theft took place.
Bowden, 23, was also ordered to pay $855 in fines and abstain from using firearms, as ordered by Nevada County Superior Court Judge John Darlington.
Should he violate the terms of the judge’s sentence, Bowden would be required to serve three years in prison.
Bowden was initially labeled a suspect in the Jan. 27 robbery and invasion of a Quail Creek Road home owned by 49-year-old Richard R. Mayer.
Two masked men broke into Mayer’s home and tied him up with an electrical cord before leaving with a jar of coins and casino chips from Mayer’s bedroom. One of them also hit Mayer over the head with a golf putter.
A second suspect in the case, 22-year-old Terry Pettigrew, was sentenced Sept. 9 to eight years in prison for his role in the home invasion and a robbery at Pettigrew’s step-grandmother’s Ponderosa Way home on Jan. 8.
Prosecutors revealed earlier this month that Bowden had been ruled out as a suspect several months ago from the Jan. 27 robbery.
In sentencing Bowden, Darlington praised him for a commitment to straighten his life out. “Your change of heart, with respect to cleaning up your act (is admirable),” Darlington said.
Bowden’s mother, Debbie Bowden-Rebholz, expressed disappointment over the protracted court battle her family has faced since January.
“I have all but lost faith in our justice system in this county. I am in utter shock and disbelief that this was allowed to go on this long,” she said in a written statement. “The authorities were told within days of Mark’s arrest that he was not Terry (Pettigrew’s) accomplice, yet they continued to try to prosecute him.”
Outside of court, Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson said he agreed with Darlington’s sentence. Authorities are working to secure information on a second possible suspect involved in the Alta Sierra home invasion-robbery, but that person has not been arrested, Wolfson said.
Bowden’s attorney, Scott Thomsen of Nevada City, said Bowden has steadfastly denied involvement in the Alta Sierra home invasion.
Bowden will be attending both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation clinics for one year each, per terms of his sentence.
“It is his last chance, and Mark will be in a very intensive program,” Thomsen said. “Considering everything that exists, this is a fair and equitable solution.”
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