News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Ex-trooper seeks to have 1965 slaying charge dismissed

MARION (AP) — An attorney for a former Alabama state trooper charged in the 1965 death of civil rights worker Jimmie Lee Jackson has asked in a court filing that the murder indictment be dismissed.

James Bonard Fowler, 73, Geneva, who remains free on bond, maintains he shot when Jackson tried to grab his gun during a struggle on Feb. 18, 1965, between marchers and state troopers in Marion.

In the Perry County circuit court filings, his attorney, George Beck, contends the May 10 indictment should be dismissed because it was based on improper grand jury makeup and proceedings.

Wants trial moved

Beck also asked the court to relocate the trial, suppress all state evidence, and to allow discovery of all state evidence, including grand jury proceedings.

Circuit Court Judge Tommy Jones in Selma will rule later on the requests, which District Attorney Michael Jackson described as standard defense filings.

Beck said the case should not go to trial because the passage of time has hurt his client’s chance to have an impartial and fair trial.

“Over four decades have passed and every witness involved in this case on the defendant’s behalf is dead, as are the physicians who treated Jackson in the Selma hospital and the doctor who performed the autopsy,” Beck told the Montgomery Advertiser.

The district attorney responded: “The fact that all Fowler’s witnesses are dead is not our problem.”


Information from: Montgomery Advertiser,

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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