A retired NYPD officer from Amityville has pleaded guilty in a Riverhead court to second-degree attempted murder and a host of lesser charges in the shooting of his estranged wife five times in October 2009. She survived.
Fowler was facing a maximum sentence of 25 years on the top count, spokesman Robert Clifford said. Fowler pleaded guilty Tuesday, on the day jury selection was to begin in Suffolk Criminal Court in Riverhead.
Fowler served with the NYPD from 1992-98, according to defense attorney Frank Doddato of Garden City, who said Wednesday that he no longer represents Fowler.
Authorities said Fowler "was on autopilot" when he shot his estranged wife, Michelle, five times at her home in Middle Island on the night of Oct. 20, 2009.
Officials said Fowler had applied for a job with his wife's employer, but wasn't allowed to work there after the employer learned there was an order of protection barring him from being near his wife.
Authorities said that was the "catalyst" for the shooting.
Fowler entered the home he once shared with his wife, shot her five times and then fled in his sport utility vehicle, a GMC Yukon, Clifford said. Making his getaway, authorities said, Fowler crashed into the ambulance racing to save his wife -- then crashed into a tree.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder and is expected to receive concurrent sentences of 20 years for first-degree assault, 20 years for first-degree burglary, 15 years for criminal possession of a weapon, 2 1/3-to-7 years for aggravated criminal contempt (for violating the order of protection) and 1 1/3-to-4 years for first-degree criminal contempt, Clifford said.