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Fowler arraigned

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By Brad Bowman

James E.  Fowler, 57, of Smithfield was arraigned Wednesday, Sept. 5 on charges that he murdered Nick Bibelhauser.

He pled not guilty and was appointed a public defender and preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.

According to reports from the detectives, Fowler said he was in the driver’s seat of his wife’s truck when Bibelhauser put a gun to his head.

Fowler allegedly told detectives that he was assaulted by Bibelhauser and asked that a DNA test be done on the barrel of Bibelhauser’s gun and that the truck be searched for shell casing.

Detectives took the truck into custody as evidence as it appeared to have blood on it.

According to the report, Bibelhauser is claiming it was self-defense.