Inmate gets 5 years in plot to kill woman

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Norcross man was sentenced to an extra five years in prison this week after he admitted in court to conspiring to have a woman killed.

Richard Fowler, 54, offered an undercover Sheriff's Department deputy money last year to kill a woman who'd caused him strife. Fowler was being detained at the Gwinnett County Jail on unrelated charges when deputies were tipped off to his plans to hire a hit man.

On Monday, Fowler pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation to commit murder, one of two new counts he faced, said Assistant District Attorney Stephen Fern. His jury trial was scheduled to begin this week.

Fern said the five-year sentence will be served consecutive to Howard's current prison term. He's serving three years following a conviction in Gwinnett last year on charges of criminal trespassing and terroristic threats and acts.

Fowler offered the deputy money to kill a woman he blamed for "problems he had in his life" and gave specific information about where she might be located and places she frequented, authorities said in August.

Officials at the time said the intended victim was notified of Fowler's attempt to hire a hit man so she could take the necessary precautions.