Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 22, 2013

Fighter accused of faking death


However, a television news report from the Saginaw area Thursday indicated both Rowan and Martinez — who Shea said was the 911 caller in the gun store robbery — were arrested in connection with the heist. A third suspect who was not immediately identified publicly is in custody as well.

Court records show Rowan is a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history. A sex offender who previously failed to register with authorities, he also has prior convictions for attempted delivery and manufacture of marijuana. Rowan was sentenced to up to five years in prison in January 2012 for uttering and publishing. He’s now labeled a parole absconder by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

For many in the Traverse City mixed martial arts community, the level of deception used to raise the money for Rowan's funeral is mind-boggling. Scott Diponio is a Traverse City resident and owner of the Diamond D fight team. He said Rowan fought on his team and that he talked to Martinez about Rowan's death.

“We (went to) Rosalie’s house and there were five or six kids there — people were crying, talking about Charlie,” Diponio said. “I now know it was all an act. Every bit of it. I gave them money out of my own pocket.”

Diponio said he learned Rowan was alive when he saw the mugshots from the Gladwin County robbery.

“I didn’t believe it,” Diponio said. “I kept fighting it ... until I saw the mugshot and then, literally, I about passed out.”

Diponio said he will file a police report with the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department about the matter.

“I could not believe someone would actually do this,” Diponio said. “I want these people brought to justice.”



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