Norcross man charged with attempting to hire hitman

Richard Fowler 

Richard Fowler 

LAWRENCEVILLE — A Norcross man already preparing to serve three years in a state prison had more charges tacked on Monday, after officials said he attempted to hire a hit man.

Richard Allen Fowler, 55, was arrested in October following a violent domestic disturbance in which he threatened to burn down his house and “hunt down” his wife if she left, police said. He was charged with terroristic threats and criminal trespass, and Gwinnett County court records show he was sentenced in May to three years in prison.

Last week, jail officials received information that Fowler was attempting to hire someone to kill “a female who he blamed for some problems he had in his life,” Gwinnett sheriff’s department spokesman Stacey Bourbonnais said.

After officials alerted the female in question, an undercover officer presented himself to Fowler as the man for the job.

“Mr. Fowler met with the undercover deputy and offered him money to kill the female,” Bourbonnais said. “He offered other information on where she could be located and places she might frequent.”

Fowler was charged with criminal solicitation and criminal attempt to commit a crime. Officials did not identify the woman he reportedly wanted dead.

“We’re not releasing anything further on the intended victim from our end for her protection,” Bourbonnais said.

In the crime leading to Fowler’s original arrest, Gwinnett County police reported to his Herrington Drive home and found him in a rage.

His wife and another woman staying at the home told police that he had screamed a series of obscenities at the woman before he broke a baby monitor and “got a can of Pepsi and poured it all over (the woman’s child’s) toys.”

Fowler’s wife complained of “constant” verbal abuse and showed police where he “beats on a wall with a baseball bat when he is mad.”

As police officers waited for the family to pack their things to leave, Fowler reportedly told his wife that he was “going to pour gas all over this house and burn it down to its foundation” and promised to “hunt (her) down.”

Following a May 23 “Alford plea” — one in which the defendant does not admit guilt but concedes there is likely enough evidence to convict — court records show Fowler was sentenced to three years confinement for terroristic threats and 12 months for trespass, to be served concurrently.

He remains in Gwinnett County jail without bond.