Sentencing reset in Port Angeles murder case

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man who shot and killed his next-door neighbor in June 2011 will be sentenced Jan. 14, a Clallam County Superior Court judge has ruled.

Bobby “B.J.” Smith, 60, was found guilty Oct. 15 of second-degree murder for the death of Robert Fowler at Smith's residence on Vashon Avenue.

His sentencing hearing was postponed from Tuesday to next month because the court had not received the results of a pre-sentencing investigation, court papers said.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brooke Taylor reset the sentencing date Tuesday.

Multiple shots

Prosecutors charged Smith with first-degree murder for shooting Fowler multiple times with a .45-caliber pistol.

A Clallam County jury found Smith not guilty of first-degree murder but guilty of second-degree murder.

Second-degree murder occurs when someone intends “to cause the death of another person but without premeditation,” according to the Revised Code of Washington.

Former Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall, who prosecuted the case, has said Smith faces a sentence between 123 months and 220 months, or about 10 years to about 18 years.

Smith will get credit for the 26 months he has already served in the Clallam County jail.

The trial was postponed in June 2012, November 2012, Feb. 21, May 10 and Aug. 16 for reasons ranging from witness availability, new evidence, a forensic investigation, a psychological analysis and the appointment of new counsel.

Self-defense

Smith has maintained that he shot Fowler in self-defense, claiming that his neighbor barged into his living room, demanded money and threatened to cut his throat with a hunting knife.

Smith phoned 9-1-1 after the confrontation.

He was not charged until a three-month crime lab investigation had been completed.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 03. 2013 6:04PM
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