A series of text messages led to the arrest of a Pasco County man in connection with the 2023 drug-related death of a man from Brooksville.
The investigation into the case began on June 30, when deputies from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) responded to the report of a death at a residence on Sunshine Grove Road in Brooksville, according to Michael Terry, deputy public information officer (PIO) for the HCSO.
At the scene, deputies found Robert Scott Fowler, who was discovered by a family member lying unresponsive on the bathroom floor. Personnel from the Hernando County Fire & Rescue confirmed that the man was dead at the scene.
Family members subsequently told deputies that Fowler had a history of drug use and that during a June 28 court appearance, he had been sentenced to six months of house arrest for failing to register as a sex offender.
During their search of Fowler’s bedroom, deputies found various pieces of drug paraphernalia. His body was taken to the District 5 Medical Examiner’s Office, where an autopsy revealed that Fowler’s death resulted from fentanyl intoxication. “The report also indicated fentanyl was detected in Fowler’s blood,” Terry said.
In November, investigators met with Fowler’s girlfriend, who told them that Fowler bought his drugs from 39-year-old Aaron Christian Clark of Pasco County. She also showed them a text message on Fowler’s phone that indicated that Clark had sold drugs to Fowler the day before his death.
When detectives met with Clark, he told them that he had sold Fowler methamphetamine but had not provided him with any fentanyl. When they showed him the text messages showing that Fowler specifically asked for fentanyl, Clark told detectives that he couldn’t remember what drug he gave Fowler but believed it was methamphetamine.
“The results of the autopsy showed no signs of methamphetamine in Fowler’s system,” Terry said. Further investigation confirmed that Clark was in the area of Fowler’s home on the day he was found dead.
A warrant was subsequently issued for Clark’s arrest and on Jan. 1, 2024, deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) arrested him on the Hernando County warrant.
Clark was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on charges of first-degree murder, distribution of fentanyl and unlawful use of a two-way communication device. He is being held without bond.
Clark is slated to appear on the charges at the Hernando County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 8.