Former Ala. trooper to face trial in '65 shooting

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A former Alabama state trooper is scheduled to go on trial in October for a slaying that occurred on darkened streets during a historic civil rights demonstration in Marion in 1965.

Circuit Judge Tommy Jones declined to dismiss an indictment against former trooper James Bonard Fowler and scheduled his trial for the week of Oct. 20.

"We look forward to having this matter resolved after 43 years," District Attorney Michael Jackson said Thursday.

A Perry County grand jury indicted Fowler on May 9, 2007, on first-degree and second-degree murder charges involving the shooting death of Jimmie Lee Jackson. Fowler's attorney, George Beck, had asked the judge to dismiss the charges because of the passage of time and the death of defense witnesses, but the judge declined.

Jackson, a 26-year-old black man, was shot by the white trooper during a civil rights protest in the west Alabama town on Feb. 18, 1965. Jackson died eight days later at a Selma hospital.

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