Former Trooper Expects to be Indicted

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A former Alabama state trooper said he expects to be indicted by a grand jury that convenes Wednesday to review a shooting death by the trooper, which sparked the Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965 and the "Bloody Sunday" protest that preceded it.

District Attorney Michael Jackson announced he's convening a special Perry County Grand Jury to review the shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson more than 42 years ago. The prosecutor, who's no relation to the victim, said the review should only take one day, and he's optimistic about getting an indictment.

Former state trooper James Bonard Fowler, in a phone interview Monday, maintains he shot Jimmie Lee Jackson in self-defense.

Fowler was among a contingent of state troopers ordered to Marion on the night of February 18th, 1965. About 500 people were marching from a church toward the Marion city jail to protest the jailing of a civil rights worker.

Fowler, now 73 and living in Geneva, has maintained Jackson tried to grab his revolver and he shot Jackson during a fight over the gun. He said it's difficult to tell his side because many of the state troopers who were present that night are dead.

If Fowler is indicted - he said he will try to get his trial moved out of the west Alabama county.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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