Clallam murder trial rescheduled for June start

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man who allegedly shot and killed his next door neighbor in June 2011 will have to wait a few more months to have his day in court.

The trial of Bobby J. Smith, 59, who is charged with first-degree murder for the death of Robert Fowler at Smith’s home on Vashon Avenue, has been continued to June 10 to give the defense more time to prepare.

His trial had been scheduled for Monday of this week.

“We’ve been trying to structure the sequence of the defense preparation,” defense attorney Harry Gasnick told Clallam County Superior Court Judge S. Brooke Taylor in a Friday court hearing.

“We first have to do the forensic analysis before doing the psychological analysis.”

Gasnick said he anticipated an initial report from a forensic expert in about a week.

He said there will be a psychological component to the case, and likely a self-defense argument at trial.

“We could not do the analysis on that [psychological] component of the case without first having a firm grasp of the forensic analysis of the case,”
Gasnick said.

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

Gasnick assured Taylor that the latest delay would be the last. A status hearing was set for March 15.

Port Angeles police said Smith shot Fowler several times with a 45.-caliber Colt pistol until Fowler stopped moving on his living room floor.

Smith told investigators that Fowler had demanded money, took a knife off a table and tried to cut him.

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

Two Port Angeles police officers flew to Amarillo, Texas, where Smith had moved, to serve an arrest warrant in October 2011.

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



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

Last modified: February 25. 2013 6:12PM
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