By: AP
By: AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A former Alabama state trooper who
pleaded guilty to a civil rights era killing says he fears for his
safety when he begins serving a jail sentence for fatally shooting
a black man 45 years ago.

James Bonard Fowler, a 77-year-old white man, reports to the Geneva County Jail Wednesday to serve a six-month sentence.

Under a plea deal, he will be jailed in his home county, Geneva, rather than in predominantly black Perry County, where his victim, Jimmie Lee Jackson, is memorialized as a martyr of the civil rights movement.

Fowler says he's concerned about safety in the Geneva County

Geneva County Chief Deputy Tony Helms says the jail has safely
housed former officers before.

He says it has private cells if security for Fowler becomes a concern, but he expects no problems.

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  • by Jay Location: Wicksburg on Dec 2, 2010 at 05:56 PM
    It's amazing that people who know absolutly nothing about an issue, can make such dumb remarks. Fowler was investigated by the ABI in 1965 and the shooting was ruled justifiable. The Federal Justice Department ruled the shooting justified. A State Grand Jury did not find grounds to indict him in 1965 and a Federal Grand Jury returned a no-bill in 1965. Then, 45 years later, a politically motivated district attorney in an 80% black county gets a murder indictment after all the witinesses are dead, except Bonner. Yes, he plead guilty. What would you do if you were in his shoes and going to be tried by an all-black jury as a white law enforcement officier for killing a black civil rights marcher and facing a life sentence. This was politically rigged from the start when the Judge refused a change of vinue. Talk about a miscarriage of justice.
  • by Mandi Location: Dothan on Dec 1, 2010 at 11:24 AM
    He should of thought about that before he did the crime...... No special treatment for him let him serve his time just like the rest of the criminals.
  • by Don Location: Dothan on Nov 30, 2010 at 02:54 PM
    How could any man, regardless of age or race, receive only six months jail time for killing another? The article does not speak of the charge, but one must presume that it had to be at least manslaughter. Six months? I'd be afraid, too. That jail is probably full of men who are serving a lot more for a lot less. They're liable to take very personal offense at someone who is basically getting a slap on the wrist for, presumably, murder. Fear for his safety? Heck, the guy is probably scared ____less, and rightfully so! I don't wish him any personal harm. Two wrongs don't make a right, after all. I won't be surprised to hear of his demise, however. You know what they say: what goes around comes around.
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