Let us not forget Jim Pouillon, a Pro-Life Activist, who was shot dead while protesting abortion in front of Owosso High School in Owosso, Michigan. We will post information about him from Wikipedia and lifenews.com.
In this September 2000 photo, James Pouillon holds one of the posters he uses to protest abortion in Owosso.
(The Flint Journal)
The murder of Jim Pouillon occurred on September 11, 2009, when pro-life activist James Pouillon was shot dead while protesting abortion in front of Owosso High School in Owosso, Michigan. It was evidently the first time an activist had ever been murdered while protesting abortion. Soon after the shooting, police were alerted to another murder, that of local businessman Michael Fuoss, which they linked to Pouillon's killer. Police arrested Harlan James Drake and charged him with both crimes. Drake was later declared fit to stand trial, where he was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, and was subsequently sentenced to two life sentences.
Jim Pouillon was a well-known Michigan activist and member of Operation Save America. An elderly man dependent on oxygen tank to breathe, he had been protesting abortion since 1988. On the day he was shot, Pouillon was leading a protest across the street from Owosso High School in Owosso, Michigan.
Shooting and arrest
During the protest, Pouillon was shot at 7:20 a.m. EDST by a gunman in a passing vehicle. One witness recorded the vehicle's license plate number. Meanwhile, police were alerted to another murder, of businessman Michael Fuoss at a gravel business he owned. An hour after Pouillon's shooting, police located and arrested the owner of the vehicle, Harlan James Drake. Drake indicated he had shot both victims.
Pouillon's murder was evidently the first time an activist had ever been killed while protesting abortion. Authorities said Fuoss was not connected to the pro-life movement. Police said Drake was offended by pro-life material that Pouillon had displayed across from the school for the previous week. A Center for Reproductive Rights spokesperson said the shooting did not seem to be tied to the abortion debate.
While in custody awaiting trial, Drake attempted suicide by breaking a TV and using the broken glass to cut his wrists. Drake was later declared fit to stand trial. In 2004, Drake was involved — but not legally responsible — in a motor-vehicle accident that killed two teenagers. Drake's attorney, Robert Ashley, argued that Drake suffered from depression stemming from the crash and was therefore mentally incompetent at the time of the murders. Drake testified about how he committed the murder, and even cracked jokes during his testimony. His testimony proved to be very damning to his case. On March 11, 2010, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on both counts of first-degree murder.
On September 30, 2009 Drake was deemed incompetent to stand trial and was remanded into the custody of the Michigan Department of Mental Health. On April 22, 2010, Drake received life imprisonment and expressed no remorse for any pain caused to the families. Drake himself said he should go to jail "forever."
Several pro-life groups and leaders have deemed Pouillon a martyr. Lori Lamerand, president of Planned Parenthood East Central Michigan, stated the killing was tragic and expressed concerns people would retaliate. President Barack Obama has called the killing "deplorable" and stated that, "whichever side of a public debate you're on, violence is never the right answer." Pouillon's funeral was held at the Owosso High School football stadium.
Soon after the murder Pouillon's estranged son James M. Pouillon, a podiatrist in Grand Rapids, criticized his father in an online post. This post, which was quickly circulated in the media, attributed Pouillon's activism to a "pathological hatred of women" and explained that "He did this to stalk, harass, terrorize, scream at, threaten, frighten, and verbally abuse women... He was at the high school because my niece was there, and female family members were always his favorite targets." It stated that Pouillon's goal was "to make someone so angry, to make them feel so terrorized, to make them feel the only way they could make him stop was to kill him." It concluded that "Owosso is now rid of a madman." Pouillon's daughter Mary Jo offered a different image of her father, saying "He didn't want to hurt anyone that hadn't hurt him or his family." Mary Jo Pouillon sang in a memorial service that drew pro-life activists from across the country.
The right-to-life organization Operation Rescue named Pouillon "Person of the Year" for 2009.
INTERNET SOURCE: http://www.lifenews.com/2010/09/14/state-5455/
Family of Slain Pro-Life Protester Jim Pouillon Remembers Him One Year Later
by Steven Ertelt
September 14, 2010
Owosso, MI (LifeNews.com) – The family of Jim Pouillon, the slain pro-life advocate who was killed for protesting abortions outside a local high school, remembers him one year after the anniversary of his death. Harlan Drake, a 34-year-old local resident of this Michigan town, killed him because he didn’t like Drake’s images.
Drake said Pouillon shouldn’t be showing the images of unborn children killed in abortions to high school students, and he shot the man in a drive-by shooting.
Mary Jo Pouillon of Owosso told the Argus Press newspaper that she takes some comfort a year later in knowing how much her father’s death impacted people and inspired them to be a part of working to stop abortions.
“He always told me that he hoped that when he died that it was out on the corner doing work that God has called him to do. And that’s exactly what happened,” she said. “And so many more people heard about his story and his activism and his cause because of his death. And he would have loved that.”
Pouillon said she received hundreds of cards from all across the United States from people who provided her and the Pouillon family support and prayers following her father’s untimely death.
She also said she appreciated the support of pro-life groups, who came to the area last month to honor him.
“He was just called to do it,” she told the newspaper about Jim’s desire to engage in pro-life activities, and she said he began protesting abortion when she was five-years-old. Family trips would often include helping pro-life groups like Operation Rescue and Mary Jo Pouillon would often help her father.
“I supported my dad 100 percent, and he knew it" she told the Argus Press. “I thank God that I was blessed to have such a godly example in my life. God told him to do something, and he did it no matter what society threw at him.”
“He wouldn’t let me leave the house without saying ‘I love you’ and giving me a kiss good-bye. He always said, ‘You never know when its going to be the last time,’" she added.
Drake also killed Mike Fuoss, with whom he had a personal feud, after he went to the high school to kill Pouillon.
But Mary Jo says she has no ill will towards Drake, saying, “He needs Jesus just like I do."
After receiving treatment at the State Department of Mental Health, Drake was found competent to stand trial in the two deaths. He was convicted of two counts of first-degree premeditated murder, among other minor charges, in March.
In April, Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Gerald Lostracco sentenced Drake to the life sentence without parole and Drake said he was sorry to have caused so much pain for the victim of the families.
"I deserve to go to jail forever," Drake told the judge.
Prosecutors pointed out that Drake confessed to shooting Pouillon and said he did so because of abortion. They played a recording of Drake after his arrest admitting to the shootings and saying they came because he didn’t like how Pouillon would hold graphic signs showing the victims of abortions.
According to local news reports, Drake confirmed that he and his mother had a conversion over lunch the day before about not liking Pouillon’s signs.
"Kind of under my breath I said ‘I’ll take care of that tomorrow,’" he said, claiming his nieces saw the signs and had nightmares.
"I did not believe that he should be showing the sign to children, especially at a high school where young girls of impressionable age would see that and either be disgusted or scared," he added.
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, who knew Pouillon, told LifeNews.com after the verdict that justice had been done.
"We are relieved that Mr. Drake’s behavior will not be excused because he had a sad story to tell, and that he will be locked away for the rest of his life," Newman said.
"The pro-life community was stunned by Jim Pouillon’s senseless murder and a lot of us who share Jim’s passion for protecting the innocent became acutely aware of just how fragile life can be," Newman added. "Jim was a kind-hearted man who cared about the injustices of the world and the plight of pre-born babies that die every day at our nation’s abortion clinics. He had the courage to get up and try to do something about that injustice. The world was diminished by Jim’s death and those of us who knew him miss him very much."
Pouillon was a regular protester at the Feminine Health Care Clinic in Flint, Michigan, operated by abortionist Alberto Hodari.
Since his death, Hodari has placed that abortion clinic up for sale in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Caitlin Bruce who alleges that Hodari forced an abortion on her there even though she had withdrawn her consent after viewing her pre-born baby on ultrasound.
Operation Rescue eventually named Pouillon its pro-life person of the year.