Prosecutors Reopen Civil Rights Case

Alabama indicts ex-state trooper in 1965 murder
By Greg Atwan,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2007 4:39 PM CDT
Prosecutors Reopen Civil Rights Case
'   (Associated Press)

Alabama prosecutors have reopened a decades-old murder case that helped spark the seminal Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. James Bonard Fowler, 73, a former state trooper, turned himself in yesterday after being indicted the 1965 murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson, whom prosecutors say he shot and killed during a demonstration in Marion.

Fowler, who is white, has acknowledged shooting Jackson but maintains he acted in self-defense. Fowler, who faces life in prison if convicted, winked at reporters as he left the sheriff's office. A cousin of Jackson's who is now a deputy sheriff was present at the booking, he said, "to stand for Jimmie Lee, my family and for justice." (More civil rights stories.)

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