A mixed martial arts fighter, his girlfriend and another man have been charged with the robbery of a mid-Michigan gun business that left its owner with severe head injuries.
TV5 has learned that Charlie Rowan, 25, faked his own death twice, according to Gladwin County Sheriff Michael Shea.
Rowan had a cage fight scheduled in Traverse City a few months ago. Word spread that he was killed in an automobile crash and fellow fighters organized a benefit event March 9 on Rowan's behalf to help pay for funeral and burial expenses. The event was dubbed the "Fight for Charlie."
Fellow fighters posted pictures on their Facebook pages dedicated to Rowan's supposed death. MMA promoters Christo Piliafas and Scott DiPonio helped raise more than $1,000 at the benefit event Rowan's family. The pair says they were shocked to learn Rowan was very much alive. Piliafas, who is a pro fighter as well as promoter, says he's angry about being duped by the amateur heavyweight.
Shea said a number of handguns were stolen and Guns and Stuff owner Richard Robinette was beaten with a blunt instrument Monday in Sage Township.
Rowan, Rosalinda Martinez and Michael Bowman were arraigned Friday in Gladwin District Court on assault with intent to murder and armed robbery charges. Martinez and Bowman were given $250,000 bond, while Rowan was given $500,000 bond.
They requested court-appointed lawyers and are being held in the county jail.
Robinette is hospitalized Friday in serious but stable condition.
On Wednesday, a woman told TV5 that Rowan was arrested at her apartment in Unionville, MI, early Wednesday morning.
The woman said Rowan was "a friend of a friend" and that he and Martinez showed up together at her place Tuesday night. When the apartment owner was letting her dog out Wednesday morning around 8 a.m., police swarmed her. She said authorities asked if Rowan and Martinez were inside and she said "yes." They then pushed her into the apartment and took the two into custody.
Authorities have stated that Martinez is Rowan's girlfriend.
The witness to the raid said Rowan had flipped his cell phone on for just 12 minutes, and police were able to track it using GPS in that window of time.
Authorities also told TV5 Rowan is an absconder from probation and his criminal record shows he failed to register as a sex offender as well as attempted to deliver a controlled substance, marijuana in this case.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.