Civil rights-era murder case delayed





It took more than four decades for a former Alabama state trooper to be indicted on charges that he gunned down a black demonstrator — a killing that helped galvanize the civil rights movement. Now a three-year delay for the trial has both sides fearing that elderly witnesses could die before they get a chance to testify.

The lag since the indictment, due in part to a feud between the prosecutor and judge, is on track to be the longest for a major civil rights case since authorities in the 1970s began reopening investigations of the slayings of activists from the previous decade.

No trial date has been set for James Bonard Fowler on charges he killed Jimmie Lee Jackson in 1965 during the chaotic aftermath of a nighttime civil rights march in Marion. A grand jury indicted Fowler on murder charges May 9, 2007.

Jackson's daughter wonders if she'll ever be able to fill the gaps about what happened to her father when she was 4 years old....


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