Trial delayed in 2011 Port Angeles murder case

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The murder trial of a Port Angeles man accused of shooting to death his next-door neighbor in June 2011 has been postponed from Monday to Feb. 23.

Bobby J. Smith, 59, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Robert Fowler, 63.

He is being held in the Clallam County jail on $1 million bond.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge George L. Wood signed an order Monday continuing the eight-day trial because of an ongoing forensic investigation.

Evidence examination

Defense attorney Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender said some evidence had not been examined by his expert.

Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Troberg did not object to the continuance.

Smith, who has maintained his innocence, is accused of shooting Fowler in the living room of Smith’s residence at 211 Vashon Ave. on June 20, 2011.

According to court documents, after the shooting, Smith told authorities he shot Fowler several times with a 45.-caliber Colt pistol until Fowler stopped moving on his living room floor.

Smith told Port Angeles police that Fowler had demanded money, took a knife off a table and tried to cut him, court documents said.

An autopsy revealed that Fowler was incapacitated by gunshot wounds before a fatal shot to the brain stem.

Smith was not charged until a three-month crime lab investigation was completed.

By that time, he had moved to Amarillo, Texas.

Two Port Angeles police officers flew to Texas in October 2011 to return Smith to Clallam County.

A psychological evaluation has since determined that Smith, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, is competent to stand trial.

Last modified: November 29. 2012 5:42PM
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