By Susan Morse
Hampton Union, Thursday, July 29, 2004
SEABROOK - Raymond Fowler will likely be held in prison until a new felony charge of witness tampering comes to court, according to his attorney. Fowler, 32, who was previously convicted in connection with the Pamela Smart case, is scheduled for a revocation of parole hearing today in Concord. On parole since April 2003, Fowler was arrested in Salisbury, Mass., last month on a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.
A new warrant for a felony charge of witness tampering out of Seabrook, which relates to the Salisbury case, is expected to be presented at the parole hearing today, according to his attorney, Jorel Booker, and Seabrook prosecutor Scott Mendes.
Because of his connection to the Smart case, Fowler will likely remain in prison until the felony charge is heard, said Booker.
"I'm looking at this from a practical point of view," said Booker. "Do you really think any accomplice in the Pame Smart case with a pending charge will be released? I don't."
On June 8, Fowler went to the home of his then-girlfriend in Salisbury and let the air of the tires of her car, which resulted in the disturbing the peace charge, said Booker.
The witness-tampering charge stems from the June 8 incident, Booker said. Fowler allegedly told his former girlfriend not to talk to police in exchange for help in repairing the car, said Booker. This information was allegedly given in an affidavit from the former girlfriend's mother, said Booker. Yet the mother is not "beating the drum" on the charge, said Booker.
Booker said the police are pushing the charge because anything connected with Fowler is a high-profile case.
"I have a complaint as vague as this, somebody else is pushing it," said Booker. "Who else has the basis to push it? The police."
Fowler has yet to be indicted on the witness-tampering charge, said Booker.
"Everybody wants to look good for the (news)papers, and Ray's the one who's going to bear the brunt of this. If he had not been in the paper for the Pame Smart thing, this would have been resolved with a phone call from me."
Fowler served 12 years on conspiracy to murder and burglary charges in connection to the 1990 Smart case. Fowler was convicted of waiting in the car while 15-year-old William Flynn shot Gregory Smart to death in the home Smart shared with his wife, Pamela, then a 22-year-old media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School. Flynn had been having an affair with Smart.
Fowler could face another eight years in prison for breaking parole.
Booker said the Fowler family of Seabrook learned of the new, more serious felony charge last Wednesday.
"They (police) don't want it in the paper, the police let him go," said Booker. "I'm suspicious at what appears to be back-filling."An estimated five days lapsed between the time of the June 8 Salisbury incident and Fowler's arrest for disturbing the peace. Fowler's parole officers also changed during that time.
Fowler reported the disturbing the peace incident to parole officer Barry Osborn, who did not arrest Fowler. There was no reason to because Fowler had received no summons from Salisbury police at that time, said Osborn.
Parole officer Bob Meegan arrested Fowler five days later, after Fowler went to Meegan's Exeter office to meet his new parole officer for the first time, according to information given by Fowler's family.
Seabrook Prosecutor Scott Mendes had no further information on the felony charge.
Seabrook Police Chief David Currier said he could not respond because Fowler would not be formerly charged with witness tampering until today.
However, he said that Booker's assertion that police were pushing the case "is absolutely untrue. High profile or not, rich or poor, we're going to treat people equally."
Officer David Buccheri, who brought the felony against Fowler, could not be reached for comment.