By Susan Morse
Hampton Union, Friday, October 1, 2004
SEABROOK - Raymond Fowler, 33, of Seabrook, pleaded not guilty to witness tampering during his arraignment in Rockingham Superior Court Wednesday morning.
Judge Tina Nadeau refused to hear a motion by Fowler's attorney, Jorel Booker of Raymond, to dismiss the case, saying she wanted to give the prosecution 10 days to file its objection to the move.
Booker said after the 10-minute hearing that he thinks the charge should be dropped because New Hampshire has no jurisdiction to hear a case that originated out of Salisbury, Mass.
Booker said he expected Nadeau to hand down a ruling on his motion within two weeks. But he said he thinks Nadeau will side with the prosecution, Assistant Attorney General Karen Huntress, in moving forward to trial.
The case is too politically motivated to be dropped, he said, referring to Fowler's connection to the Pamela Smart murder case.
Fowler served 12 years for attempted burglary and conspiracy to murder for waiting in the car when Smart's husband was killed in 1990. Fowler's family insists he did not know Gregory Smart was going to be killed.
Fowler, the first to be released, was out of prison for more than a year when he was arrested in June for violating parole. Police allege Fowler and his brother William were involved in a disturbing-the-peace incident in Salisbury.
Fowler admits to going to Salisbury in the middle of the night, looking for his then-girlfriend. He knocked on a window to an apartment where she was staying with another man, and let air out of one of the tires to her car.
The witness-tampering charge, which is a Class B felony, stems from the June 8 incident. Seabrook police charged Fowler with attempting to coerce his ex-girlfriend's mother into telling her daughter to drop the charges in Salisbury.
"It's a domestic issue," said Fowler's brother Robert, who attended Wednesday's hearing.
The parole board in Concord is awaiting the outcome of the felony charge before determining if, or how much time, Fowler will serve on the remainder of his sentence, which extends to 2013.
Fowler remains in prison during the process.
He appeared in court Wednesday in a green jumpsuit and said nothing.
Should the case go to trial, as expected, Booker will raise the issue of jurisdiction in closing arguments, he said.
A pre-trial hearing may be scheduled within 30 days if the case is not dropped, he said.
Whether Booker will still be Fowler's attorney at that time remains in question. The court refused a request for Booker to become court-appointed counsel, and the Fowler family has run out of money to pay him.
Judge Nadeau gave Booker 14 days to file an appearance as Fowler's attorney.