POLICE: Elderly Dothan woman murdered by man she hired for lawn care

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Mar. 18, 2018 at 8:06 PM CDT
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[UPDATE: Monday, March 19, 2018 - 5:25PM]

58-year-old Joe Nathan Duncan ----- faces Capital Murder and Burglary charges after police found the body of 91-year-old Mable Fowler in her home ---- on Hodgesville Road, Saturday.

They tell WTVY that Fowler hired Duncan to do yard work, only several weeks ago.

Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish says Fowler was beaten to death. "This is a difficult case, it's one that resonates throughout our community, and reminds us how violent people can be, and how little value they have for life."

Her cousin, Marvette Holland, is devastated. "I have been in that room with her, and walked through there, and seeing what she went through. And it's just about more than you can take."

Gail Mallion lives just down the road . She says, "It is very frightening to know that it's happening less than a mile away from my home."

Brad Mullis has lived next to Fowler for more than 20 years. "It's a little disheartening knowing that I work, and sometimes my mother's here by herself,.. It's gonna make me a little more aware when I'm out in my yard, whether it's daylight or dark."

Chief Parish says he believes they have their man, though they are still searching for a black backpack the suspect owned.

Police say Duncan has an extensive history of felony arrests, including sexual assault. If convicted of this crime, he could receive the death penalty.