Husband to stand trial in Rowbotham slaying
A Manitoba judge has ordered a former provincial government executive to stand trial for the high-profile killing of his wife nearly a decade ago.
Mark Stobbe has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder for the October 2000 slaying of Beverly Rowbotham at their home just north of Winnipeg. His three-week preliminary hearing ended last Friday with provincial court Judge John Guy ruling there is sufficient evidence to take the case to trial. No dates have been set. A court-ordered ban prevents specific details of the hearing from being published.
Stobbe was arrested in 2008 following an extensive RCMP investigation. He will remain free on bail and allowed to return to Saskatoon, where he has been serving as executive director of the Saskatchewan Craft Council.
Rowbotham, 42, was found dead inside her tan Ford Crown Victoria in a gas station parking lot in Selkirk in the early morning of Oct. 25, 2000. Immediately after her killing, the RCMP assured the public there was no reason to fear a random killer was on the loose, but never said why. Police believe Rowbotham was actually killed in her backyard but have never revealed a motive.
Rowbotham, Stobbe and their children had moved from Regina about five months before the slaying when Stobbe accepted a senior position on the provincial cabinet's community and economic development committee.
Stobbe had been a high-ranking adviser to former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow before coming to Manitoba.
Rowbotham grew up in Regina and graduated with a BA from the University of Saskatchewan in 1978. She and Stobbe married in 1993.