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Man guilty in November shooting case

Steven Todd Bowie was found guilty of first-degree assault and a handgun violation

Steven Todd Bowie was found guilty of first-degree assault and a handgun violation

July 18, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

After deliberating for less than two hours Wednesday, a jury found a Hagerstown man guilty of first-degree assault in connection with a shooting in a Salem Avenue convenience store parking lot in November.

Steven Todd Bowie, 18, was one of three men charged with shooting Damion Womble, 23, four times following an alleged robbery, Hagerstown City Police said.

Bowie, aka "Demo," pleaded not guilty Wednesday and was tried before Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick Wright on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, wearing and carrying a deadly weapon and using a handgun in commission of a crime.

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The jury found Bowie guilty of first-degree assault and using a handgun in commission of a crime, and not guilty of the other charges.

Co-defendant James McNair, 25, of Hagerstown, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in the incident and is scheduled for sentencing in August. The case of the third co-defendant, James Woods, 23, of Hagerstown, is pending.

During his opening statements, Deputy Washington County State's Attorney Charles Strong said Bowie shot Womble at McNair's order during a dispute following an alleged robbery.

Defense attorney Willie Mahone told the jury that Bowie was one of many people at the scene but he didn't shoot Womble. Mahone alleged that Womble was shot by McNair.

"He was very confrontational that day," said Mahone of McNair.

Womble testified that an acquaintance told him McNair, aka "Murder," had robbed him and asked for Womble's help in getting his money back.

Womble called McNair twice and the men eventually met at the 7-Eleven on Salem Avenue, he said.

Womble said McNair came to the store with Bowie, aka "Face," and Woods, aka "Jamoe," around 10 p.m. and an argument started.

The argument became heated and Womble heard McNair tell Bowie and Woods to shoot him, he said. Bowie pulled out a gun and shot him four times, Womble said.

"I saw the light and the sound went off and I went deaf for a second," Womble said.

Womble was shot in the finger, right groin, right kneecap and front left hip, and was hospitalized for several weeks, he said.

Mahone grilled Womble about conflicting statements he made to police naming his assailant.

McNair testified that he met Womble at the 7-Eleven and argued with him over an alleged robbery but didn't shoot him. He said he had turned to walk away when he heard the shots fired. He then fled the scene, he said.

Heather Sweeny, McNair's girlfriend, testified that McNair told her Bowie did the shooting.

During his closing arguments, Strong said Womble had no reason to frame Bowie.

"Womble may have an ax to grind but it would be against the person who shot him" or at McNair for the alleged robbery, Strong said.

Mahone said in closing arguments that Strong was "playing a smoke-and-mirrors game" by making statements in his opening argument that he failed to prove during the trial.

"Reasonable doubt is all over the place," Mahone said.

He disregarded the state's star witnesses, Womble and McNair, and said their testimony wasn't "worth a hill of beans."

Following the jury's verdict, Wright allowed Bowie to attend his father's funeral Friday. Wright delayed sentencing pending a pre-sentencing report.

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