Jury Finds Maryland Man Guilty of First-Degree Murder In 2014 Killing of Woman in Southeast Washington

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

            WASHINGTON – Mark Bowser, 42, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, has been found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder while armed and other charges in a stabbing that resulted in 47 sharp force injuries and that took place inside the victim’s home in Southeast Washington. announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Bowser also was found guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon of a second victim, a related weapons offense for the knife, and two counts of obstructing justice. The verdict was returned on March 30, 2022, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Milton C. Lee, Jr. scheduled sentencing for June 10, 2022. Bowser faces a minimum sentence of 30 years on the murder conviction alone. 

            According to the government’s evidence, on Sept. 20, 2014, at approximately 1:30 a.m. Bowser entered the home and bedroom of the homicide victim, Tracy Womack, as she was laying in her bed to sleep at her apartment in the 4600 block of Benning Road NE. Bowser and Ms. Womack had known each other for months and gathered together as people often did in this residential apartment area.  After enjoying a normal weekend evening with neighbors and friends, Ms. Womack went into her bedroom, fully clothed, to go to sleep.

            While two friends lingered in the apartment living room, Bowser walked into the unlocked apartment, into Ms. Womack’s bedroom, and shut the bedroom door. One of the friends, who could not get the bedroom door open, ran outside to look for help. When Bowser emerged from Ms. Womack’s apartment, Ms. Womack had suffered 47 stabbing and cutting wounds to her face, neck, torso, arms, and hands.  Ms. Womack was also found with her pants and underwear pulled down to her thighs. Before fleeing the scene, Bowser lunged with the knife in hand towards a second victim who had come back to Ms. Womack’s home.  Though rushed to a hospital, Ms. Womack, 39, was soon pronounced dead. 

            Bowser was arrested the next day and has been in custody since. 

            While the case was pending trial, Bowser attempted to mail a letter, instructing someone to locate two witnesses he claimed was lying in his case.  Bowser listed them by name: the witness who ran to get help and the second victim Bowser threatened with the knife.  In the letter, Bowser included a diagram of exactly where one of these witnesses lived and instructions on how to use the first witness to find the second witness.  The mailroom at the District of Columbia Department of Corrections intercepted this letter after noting a discrepancy on the envelope, and this message to tamper with these witnesses was never delivered.

            In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Debra Forte, Intelligence Analyst Zachary McMenamin, Victim/Witness Advocate Christina Bloodworth, former Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker, Supervisory Victim/Witness Services Coordinator Katina Adams-Washington, and Victim/Witness Services Coordinator La June Thames.

            Finally, they commended the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Bradford, who indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jin Park and Dennis Clark, who prosecuted the case.