posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 03:55 PM
Associated Press - June 4, 2003
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - Former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe was cleared of assault charges Wednesday after Bowe's wife and three other
witnesses failed to appear in court.
After a one-hour trial, Prince George's County District Judge Beverly J. Woodard acquitted Bowe of four counts of second-degree assault. Without the
witnesses, Woodard said there was little evidence to prove Bowe committed the crimes.
"You had to have them here, one person at least out of the four," Woodard told Assistant State's Attorney Heather Tierney.
Bowe, 35, already is serving 18 months in a federal prison in Cumberland, Md., for kidnapping his first wife and their children from her home in
Charlotte, N.C., in 1998. He didn't speak, sitting hunched in his chair at the defense table in an orange prison jumpsuit.
Bowe was convicted in January in North Carolina and was preparing to report to prison when Prince George's police were called to his home in Port
Washington on March 8. Officers said they found his wife, Terri, her two children and a family friend in hysterics, with what appeared to be injuries
to their faces and necks.
Bowe had left the scene, but police found him 10 minutes later driving his BMW nearby and arrested him.
Tierney showed photos of the four which she said showed marks on Terri Bowe's neck and wrists, as well as injuries to the boys. She also tried to get
a 911 tape introduced, but was blocked by Woodard.
Bowe's attorney, Steven Silverman, said the boxer didn't harm any anyone. He said the only reason the case went to trial was because of the boxer's
The Bowes are "happily married" he said, adding that Terri Bowe called him several times o say her husband didn't strike her or her children.
"He's a large man, he's a powerful man," Silverman said in court. "If Mr. Bowe were to hit a child or woman they would probably be in the hospital, if
Prosecutors believed Terri Bowe supported the case, said Ramon Korinoff, a spokesman for the Prince George's state's attorney's office.
"With his previous history and his capabilities as a former heavyweight boxer, we had to protect not only her, but society at large. That's why we
went forward with the case," he said.
Bowe had a 40-1 lifetime record and was the undisputed heavyweight champion after beating Evander Holyfield in 1992. He retired in December 1996, but
said after his federal trial that he hoped to return to the ring.