Man cleared in fatal shooting sets the record straight

RIPLEY, MS (WMC) - A North Mississippi man who shot and killed another man earlier this year wants to set the record straight after getting his record expunged.

He's not just talking about his reputation, but a human lesson he hopes everyone will hear.

Buck shots left behind in Thomas Bozek's truck remind him of the day he helped his longtime friend.

Ronnie Brock was shot and killed in Ripley, Mississippi in January 2017.

Melanie Brock tried to get her stuff back from what she says was an abusive ex-husband.

"He'd always beat me at times when I would threaten to leave him," Melanie said.

They say they went by the home on County Road 611 on January 19 and didn't see anyone home.

But when they pulled in to get her clothes and other belongings back, Ronnie appeared with a friend, and he was armed.

"They came out behind me and I heard a shotgun blast," Bozek said.

Bozek said he immediately acted in self-defense.

"I scan left and there was a shotgun pointed at me, and I fired," Bozek said

That shot killed 48-year-old Ronnie.

Bozek and Melanie said they then got into the truck to get away and get help when Ronnie's friend fired four shotgun blasts.

At the time, Bozek was charged with manslaughter. Now his record has been expunged, and Bozek wants to set the record straight.

"It's near impossible to get another job with a manslaughter charge showing up on your Google search," Bozek said.

For the thousands of women and men in abusive relationships around the Mid-South, Melanie has a message.

"Just stay away, stay out of it, and don't go back," Melanie said.

Both of them had hoped it would not have ended this way.

"See I took her kid's father and that ain't what I wanted to do," Bozek said.

Meanwhile, Ronnie's mother said their family believes Bozek should be charged with murder in his death.

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