For Immediate Release - March 25, 2014

Peabody Man Pleads Guilty to Motor Vehicle Homicide

Michael Fowler, 39, of Peabody, pleaded guilty today in Salem Superior Court to motor vehicle homicide, manslaughter, and leaving the scene, in connection to a motor vehicle crash that killed Daniel Walker, 31, on May 24, 2013.  Judge Howard Whitehead sentenced him to 2 ½ to 3 years in state prison followed by 5 years of probation during which Fowler is ordered to remain alcohol free, to attend AA meetings, not to drive and to speak to high school students about drunk driving.

“Many lives have been ruined because of one person’s decision to drive while drunk,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “The defendant’s young family is devastated and, of course, the victim’s family has suffered an unspeakable loss.”

Had the case gone to trial, Essex Assistant District Attorney Susan Dolhun would have introduced evidence to prove that on May 24, 2013, the defendant was driving his 2010 Hyundai on Walnut Street in Peabody while under the influence of alcohol.  He drove into a parked flatbed tow truck, killing his passenger, Daniel Walker.  He fled the scene and was apprehended by Peabody Police approximately one-third of a mile from the crash scene.

ADA Dolhun had recommended a six to eight year state prison sentence, followed by five years of probation because of several aggravating factors which include a prior OUI offense, a high blood alcohol level (.24%) and his flight from the scene. 

Judge Whitehead will execute the sentence on April 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm to allow the defendant time to get his affairs in order.  The defendant was represented by Attorney Gary Zerola.