Fourth teen went along for the ride
However, mother and lawyer say boy was not involved
By Cara Connors, RCN Staff
The Hampton Union, June 29, 1990
Seabrook teen-agers reported to have been in the car with three other teens implicated in the murder of a Derry man said her son was not "intentionally" involved in the killing.
Asked if her son Raymond was involved in the murder of 24-year-old Gregory Smart of Derry, Paula Fowler said, "I don't think intentionally. If he had known, he would never have went.
Smart was found by his wife, Pamela, the director of the media center at School Administrative Unit 21, in their condominium with a bullet through his head on May 1. Three teen-age boys from Seabrook have been arrested in connection with the killing.
In a story published this week in the Derry News, Raymond Fowler said he was in the car with the three other teens. He said that he did not know what the teens were doing when they allegedly left him in the car to enter the condominium that night and they told him what happened on the drive back.
Paula Fowler said she believed her son, Raymond, 19, was innocent, and would not admit he drove to the Smart home that night. She said Raymond, who is staying with family members in Maine, knew the three youths who were arraigned three weeks ago at Hampton District Court.
The three were charged with juvenile delinquency, but the state wants to certify them as adults and charge one with first-degree murder and two with accessory to the killing.
Fowler said Derry Police had called in May looking for Raymond, who was in Maine at that time. She said she did not think her son would be charged in connection with the killing. "They would have done something by now," she said. "Sometimes you get worried and sometimes you don't.
Attorney Charles Graham, who represents Raymond Fowler, said in an interview Wednesday that he has concerns about what happened at the Smart's Misty Morning Drive home in Derry May 1. "There's more than just an interrupted burglary," he said, adding this statement was based on consultation with Fowler.
"My client is innocent of any wrongdoing as far as I'm concerned," Graham said. "I guarantee that's the case."
Authorities thought at the time of the killing that it was related to a burglary, because several items were reported missing from the home.
Assistant Attorney General Diane Nicolosi said this week the matter of the three youths has been transferred to Derry District Court. She said she has been ordered by the court not to comment on what stage the certification process is in.
An official at Derry District Court said yesterday she had no information on Nicolosi's statement and could neither confirm nor deny it.
Nicolosi has refused to say why Fowler has not been charged with a crime after admitting to being with the suspects the night of the murder.
Under New Hampshire law, a person is not considered an accomplice to a crime unless the person knowingly solicits a person committing a crime and/or knowingly aids, agrees or attempts to help a person committing a crime, said Nicolosi, when she was asked to explain the law.
She would not comment when asked if Fowler was suspected of being an accomplice.
Graham reiterated Paula Fowler's comments that Derry police talked with Raymond about three weeks ago about the case, but would not comment on the details of that conversation.
Rumors have flown around Seabrook that Fowler provided police with information on the murder and that his life may have been threatened. Graham said he was not sure that Fowler was in danger. But said the potential exists. "I think the potential...for physical danger to him (is there),"...he said. "I can't answer that with any certainty."
When asked if her son had been threatened, Paula Fowler said, "I don't know anything about that." She said that Raymond was most likely scared about being harmed but did not say so.
He does not talk too much about the incident, Fowler said. "He just clams up. He does not like to talk about any of it."
The Derry police know where Raymond Fowler is staying, Graham said. Police contacted Fowler as a result of a conversation with another Seabrook resident regarding the case, he said, and would not name the other person.
Both Paula Fowler and Graham say Raymond did not know Pamela or Gregory Smart. Pamela Smart worked with one of the boys on a video project. All three youths were students at Winnacunnet High School.
Raymond was friends with the three teens recently arrested, Fowler said. The boys would come over to the Washington Street house and play with a set of drums and guitars, with Raymond on bass, she said. "They would stop in and talk about girlfriends," she said.
The family has lived in Seabrook all its life, she said. Fowler said Raymond traveled to Maine and back to Seabrook a lot. Raymond has left the town because it can be a "rough neighborhood," at times, she said. "It's best that way."