Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Sunday, August 7, 2016


On this date, August 7, 2003, Tommy Jerry Fortenberry was executed by lethal injection in Alabama. He was convicted of the August 25, 1984 murders of four people in a robbery. Thank God the victims’ families had justice served and they were not revengeful but forgiving.


 Tommy Jerry Fortenberry

Summary: All four victims were shot during the robbery at a gas station in Attalla. Police later found the murder weapon and traced it to a gun repair shop partly owned by Fortenberry's father. During questioning by police, Fortenberry led lawmen to the location where he had disposed of the pistol after the slayings. It was the exact area that police had recovered the weapon. Fortenberry also gave several stories about the murders. He told police he needed money because of a gambling habit and was robbing Nelson at gunpoint when Guest tried to talk him into giving up his weapon and the Paynes drove up to the station. He told police he shot Guest and Payne outside the station, returned inside to shoot Nelson, and then fired what he called a "pot" shot at Nancy Payne, who was trying to run for help. Fortenberry later claimed he was at the station, but another man shot the four victims.

QUOTE 1: Freda Andrews, Nancy Payne's sister, said she was in the witness room Thursday night but chose not to watch Fortenberry die because she was afraid she would never be able to forget the scene. The murders 19 years ago opened a book in which the final chapter was written Thursday with Fortenberry's execution, "and is not to be opened again," she said. "I feel that justice was completed today. I have peace about it." Andrews said the hearts of the victims' family members go out to Fortenberry's family. "They're victims, too," she said.

QUOTE 2: David Payne, son of the Paynes, said, "I feel in my heart that justice was done today ... I know their family's got sorrow, now. I know what we've been through. I feel for their family. My prayers are with them." Bonnie Ingram, daughter of victim Robert Payne who was 17 when her father was killed, said she still misses him, but "I've forgiven this boy and pray that God will give peace to his mother and peace to us."

AUTHOR: Families of Tommy Jerry Fortenberry’s victims – They were murdered by Tommy Jerry Fortenberry on August 25, 1984. Tommy Jerry Fortenberry was executed by lethal injection in Alabama on August 7, 2003.

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