Murder trial of Port Angeles resident delayed again

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Bobby J. Smith, a Port Angeles man who allegedly shot and killed his next-door neighbor in a dispute nearly two years ago, will wait three more months to get his day in court.

Smith’s eight-day trial was moved from June 10 to Sept. 9 in a Friday court hearing.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer granted the continuance to give Smith’s new attorney, Karen Unger, time to prepare, according to court documents.

Unger took the case from Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender on Wednesday.

Smith, 60, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 63-year-old Robert Fowler in June 2011.

The shooting occurred in the living room of Smith’s residence on Vashon Avenue.

The trial has been postponed several times because of delays associated with the forensic investigation and psychological evaluations.

It most recently was moved from February to June because Gasnick needed more time to interview witnesses.

Smith, who phoned 9-1-1 after the shooting, told authorities he shot Fowler in self-defense.

He pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Police said Smith shot Fowler several times with a pistol until Fowler stopped moving on the floor.

Smith was not charged with a crime until the initial crime lab investigation had been completed.

By that time, he had moved to Amarillo, Texas, where he was arrested by Texas Rangers on a Clallam County warrant.

Smith was flown back to the North Olympic Peninsula by two Port Angeles police officers.

Last modified: May 12. 2013 6:12PM
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