Police say man awoke to a gun in his face

Intruder shot by Perry Hall homeowner had an extensive criminal record

March 30, 2010|By Nick Madigan | nick.madigan@baltsun.com

William Bozman awoke and found himself staring at the barrel of a gun.

According to Baltimore County police, a 29-year-old felon named Marvin Cook Jr. had broken into Bozman's home off a country road in Perry Hall shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday and made his way to the master bedroom.

Once there, Cook woke Bozman, threatened him with a handgun and demanded money, police say.

Bozman, 68, who owns a towing company, retrieved his own gun, pointed it at the intruder and ordered him to drop his weapon, according to Cpl. Mike Hill, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department.

The intruder began walking toward the homeowner, at which point Bozman fired several times, Hill said. The man landed on top of Bozman, who was able to free himself and call police.

When officers arrived at Bozman's house in the 4200 block of Chapel Road, they found Cook shot in the chest. He was taken by ambulance to Franklin Square Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy was performed Sunday and confirmed the cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds.

"The autopsy, the crime-scene investigation and Bozman's statements all seem to corroborate each other," Hill said. Nevertheless, he added, once the investigation is complete, the results will be sent to the state's attorney's office to determine whether any charges should be brought against Bozman - a routine review in such homicides.

"It could be ruled justified," Hill said. He added that there was no evidence that Cook and Bozman knew each other, which could rule out retribution as a motive for the killing.

On Cook's body, police found a driver's license with a Baltimore address. When officers went to that address, Hill said, they met Cook's mother, who told them she hadn't seen her son in years.

Cook was convicted of attempted murder in March 2002 and was given a 25-year prison sentence, with all but 10 years suspended. He was released to supervised probation after serving five-and-a-half years, said Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Corrections.

Cook was twice charged with violating that probation, in 2008 and last year.

On Feb. 3, 1998, in Baltimore Circuit Court, after being found guilty of drug charges, Cook was sentenced to six years in prison, with all but one suspended. Less than two years later, on Nov. 3, 1999, Cook, who lived in the 400 block of Cummings St. in Baltimore at the time, was found guilty of violating probation and was sentenced to two years.

On Sept. 19, 2000, Cook was given a six-month sentence for another drug offense. A charge of failing to obey a police officer's order, filed against Cook on Sept. 15, 2008, was not prosecuted. On June 11 the next year, Cook pleaded guilty to a drug charge and was sentenced to a six-month term.

No one answered the front or rear doors Monday afternoon of the house where the shooting occurred, a white, two-story structure with a front porch and blue shutters. A sticker on the front door said, "United States, United People." The curtains were drawn.

A Ford F-550 tow truck in the driveway served to advertise Bozman's company, B&B Towing, and its 24-hour availability in logos on its side.

A woman who answered the phone at the towing company said Bozman would not be giving any interviews for the moment, but that he was "physically fine."

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