Smithfield man charged w/ murder

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By Brad Bowman

A Smithfield man has been charged with murdering his brother-in-law over a property dispute Saturday afternoon.

Kentucky State Police arrested James Fowler, 57, of Smithfield, after determining that a dispute over a property line allegedly led Fowler to shoot Nick Biblehauser in the head with a handgun.

Biblehauser, the brother of Fowler’s wife, was declared dead at the scene by assistant Henry County Coroner Mike Paris.

Troopers found  Bibelhauser, 61, of Smithfield dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

KSP Post 5 Public Affairs Officer Trooper Brad Arterburn said this isn’t the first time police have been called to the residence.

“We have been out there several times over property disputes,” Arterburn said. “They live next to each other and have disputed over where a property line is.”

The shooting occurred at 3:19 p.m. Saturday at Bibelhauser’s residence at 7634 Ballardsville Road in Smithfield.

After interviewing witnesses, detectives charged the alleged shooter James Fowler, 57, of Smithfield with murder, Arterburn said.

Troopers took Fowler to the Carroll County  Regional Detention Center, where he remains lodged on a $100,000 bond.

KSP Detective Kurt Buhts is leading the investigation.  Detective Buhts was assisted at the scene by the Eminence Police Department, Henry County EMS and the Henry County Deputy Coroner.

Bibelhauser worked as a bus driver for The HDB Service Group, which created Oldham County’s public bus service and also provides transportation for seniors.

He viewed his job as more than a bus driver.

Co-workers remember Bibelhauser using his time behind the wheel as a chance to serve others.

He shared home-grown produce with passengers, but his helping hand didn’t stop with tomatoes or squash.

One elderly passenger mentioned her embarrassment at her unkempt yard, and Bibelhauser showed up on a Saturday morning to mow it.

After seeing a passenger nearly fall as she walked from her home, he power washed her ramp.

And on rainy days, he sometimes drove passengers all the way to their door, rather than having them walk in the rain.

His attitude permeated to all who worked for the bus service. In his words, “Lotta people count on us. Can’t let ‘em down!”

Funeral visitation is 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Heady-Radcliffe Funeral Home in La Grange. A Funeral mass is 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug.5 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Eminence.

In 2008, Bibelhauser’s residence was the subject of a home invasion, in which he, his wife and son were held hostage.

Two men were charged in connection with the home invasion.

One man, Robert Bryant, entered a guilty plea in 2010 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Johnny Lee Gibson also was charged in connection to the home invasion, and his trial was held earlier this year.

But a jury did not find him guilty.

The Oldham Era’s Jacqueline Stoess Hack contributed to this report.

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