Local News

July 1, 2014

Bozzie gets life without parole

A man convicted of murder for running over the victim with his truck in June 2013 was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A Whitfield County jury last month convicted Frank Scott Bozzie, 48, formerly of 807 W. Crawford St., Dalton, 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.

Judge Jack Partain sentenced Bozzie Tuesday in Whitfield County Superior Court. Partain sentenced Bozzie to an additional 20 years consecutive time for aggravated assault against Holbrook and Verner, as well as 10 years for criminal damage to property in the first degree and 12 months for family violence battery.

Bozzie was convicted by a Whitfield County jury on June 19 on 13 counts including malice murder, two counts of felony murder, eight counts of aggravated assault, one count of criminal damage to property and family violence battery. Many of the counts merged for sentencing as they involved the same victim and same conduct by Bozzie, but charged under different sub-sections of the Georgia code, District Attorney Bert Poston said.

Assistant District Attorney Susan Beck, who tried the case, presented one additional exhibit for sentencing purposes, a 1996 conviction from the State of California for felony fleeing from a police officer. Beck had during the trial tendered a 2006 conviction, also from California, for felony corporal injury on a spouse. Beck argued that Bozzie should receive life without parole plus additional time on the other counts because they involved different victims.

“Beck specifically asked the court what case would warrant life without parole if not this one, where Bozzie, with a history of violence, killed an innocent man standing in his own front yard because Bozzie was upset with someone else entirely,” Poston said. “Beck also pointed out that Bozzie had shown no remorse and that during his trial testimony, would not even acknowledge that Morgan had become trapped under his (Bozzie’s) truck.”

Bozzie spoke briefly on his behalf, asking the court when he could receive a “real trial” and how he could get a warrant for a “perjured indictment,” accusing Beck of lying, and asking how much confidential informants are paid, although no such informants were involved in this case, Poston said.

Bozzie’s attorney, Steve Miller of Summerville, asked Partain to use his discretion to sentence Bozzie to life with the possibility of parole. Bozzie has 30 days from Tuesday to file either a motion for new trial or direct appeal if he chooses to. Miller stated that he would file a motion for new trial on Bozzie’s behalf as soon as the written sentence is filed.

At trial, the district attorney’s office laid out what happened that day in June 2013.

“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 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 about 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.

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