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Press Release

Perry Man Sentenced to Serve 52 Years in Federal Prison After Forcing Woman to Drive to Texas Coast at Gunpoint

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

Defendant sexually assaulted victim in her home and car during day-long crime spree

OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, ZACHARY CHARLES FOWLER, 24, of Perry, was sentenced to serve 624 months in federal prison for kidnapping, carjacking, and using a firearm in furtherance of those crimes, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

On September 6, 2022, a federal grand jury returned a three-count Indictment against Fowler, charging him with kidnapping, carjacking, and using and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. In May 2023, Fowler was tried by a federal jury and found guilty on all counts.

At trial, the evidence showed that Fowler and the victim had previously been in a relationship. Following the end of that relationship, Fowler arrived at the victim’s home in the early morning of March 29, 2022. Fowler broke into the home of his victim, kicked in her bedroom door, wrestled control of a firearm owned by the victim, and sexually assaulted the victim at gunpoint.

The jury also heard testimony that Fowler forced the victim to leave her home at gunpoint and drive him to Corpus Christi, Texas. Throughout the drive, Fowler sexually assaulted the victim again. After arriving in Corpus Christi, the victim was able to escape. Fowler was arrested later the same day by law enforcement in Texas.

“The vile conduct of this defendant, and the trauma he forced upon his victim, are evidence of a clear and present danger in our community that necessitated swift and decisive punishment,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Troester. “While today’s steep penalty will not erase the damage done by Mr. Fowler, we hope it will serve as another step in the healing process for the victim and their family.”  

“Today’s sentence completes the judicial process for Mr. Fowler, who forced his victim into a frightening situation that tormented her both physically and emotionally,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “While the trauma cannot be undone, we hope the victim and this community takes comfort in knowing a violent offender has been taken off our streets.”

At the sentencing hearing today, U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk sentenced Fowler to serve 52 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. In announcing his sentence, Judge Palk noted the “horrific and terrifying” nature of the case and described Fowler’s behavior as “horrendous and dehumanizing”. Judge Palk also noted Fowler’s lack of acceptance of responsibility for his actions.

This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office, the Noble County Sheriff’s Office, the Corpus Christi Police Department, and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew P. Anderson and Jacquelyn M. Hutzell prosecuted the case.

Reference is made to public filings for additional information.

Updated April 23, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime