Fowler fears for safety during jail time

File Photo: James Fowler
File Photo: James Fowler

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A former Alabama state trooper who pleaded guilty to a civil rights era killing says he fears for his safety when he begins serving a jail sentence for fatally shooting a black man 45 years ago.

James Bonard Fowler, a 77-year-old white man, reports to jail Wednesday to serve a six-month sentence. Under a plea deal, he will be jailed in his home county, Geneva, rather than in predominantly black Perry County, where his victim, Jimmie Lee Jackson, is memorialized as a martyr of the civil rights movement.

Fowler says he's concerned about safety in the Geneva County Jail.

Geneva County Chief Deputy Tony Helms says the jail has safely housed former officers before. He says it has private cells if security for Fowler becomes a concern, but he expects no problems.

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