Local News

June 20, 2014

Dalton man convicted of murder for running over victim

A Dalton man was convicted of murder Thursday for running over the victim with his truck in June 2013.

A Whitfield County jury convicted Frank Scott Bozzie, 48, formerly of 807 W. Crawford St., of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault in the June 10, 2013, killing of Horace Richard Morgan. Bozzie was also convicted of aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and family violence battery against Richard Holbrook and Jennifer Verner.

Superior Court Judge Jack Partain will sentence Bozzie on July 1. Bozzie faces either life or life without parole on the murder charge, up to 20 years on each aggravated assault charge, 10 years for criminal damage to property in the first degree and 12 months for family violence battery.

Bozzie, originally from California, has two prior felony convictions from that state including a felony evading a peace officer with disregard for safety and felony inflicting corporal injury on spouse in 1996 in which, similar to the present case, he assaulted a former wife and then attempted to ram a deputy’s patrol car with his truck. In 2006 Bozzie was convicted of another felony inflicting corporal injury on spouse involving a different former wife. Bozzie also has a prior misdemeanor domestic violence charge and a 1999 misdemeanor drug charge, all from California.

“The events that led up to the murder began at the McDonald’s on East Walnut Avenue when Bozzie intentionally crashed his GMC pickup truck into a van occupied by Holbrook and Verner,” according to a press release from District Attorney Bert Poston. “Bozzie then attacked the vehicle and Holbrook with a baseball bat before confronting Verner, with whom he had been involved romantically prior to that date. Bozzie left the McDonald’s before police could arrive but customers and employees witnessed parts of the encounter which was partly captured by the McDonald’s video security system.”

Fearing for her children, who were at Morgan’s residence, Verner asked Holbrook to take her there. Bozzie showed up shortly thereafter, having previously been to the residence and getting into an altercation with Morgan before finding Holbrook and Verner at the McDonald’s.

Bozzie stayed in his vehicle, but revved his engine while engaged in a verbal altercation with Morgan, who was on the phone with 911 and demanding that Bozzie leave his property. Bozzie then accelerated towards Morgan, who was about 40 feet from the vehicle, struck and drove over Morgan, dragging him more than 30 feet before the truck became stuck at the edge of a wooded area. Holbrook attempted to intervene on behalf of Morgan after which Bozzie fled the area on foot. Bozzie was arrested more than an hour later at a convenience store around a mile-and-a-half from his truck.

Morgan was trapped under the truck, suffering broken ribs, a broken pelvis, broken femurs and an open dislocation of the ankle as well as numerous burns to his skin from contact with the underside of the engine and exhaust system. According to Dr. Keith Lehman of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Medical Examiner’s Office, the actual cause of death was not the injuries but mechanical asphyxiation. Morgan was pinned under the truck and unable to breathe. Lehman testified that it would have taken up to five minutes for Morgan to die while under the truck.

The jury was selected on Monday morning. The jury received its instructions from Partain Thursday morning and began deliberating at about 9:30 a.m. The verdict was announced in court shortly before noon.

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