Thursday, May 10, 2007

Indictment Brought in Civil-Rights-Era Death

MARION, Ala. -- A grand jury returned a sealed indictment Wednesday in the shooting death of a black man by a state trooper 42 years ago -- a killing that set in motion the historic civil rights protests in Selma and led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said the charge and the suspect's identity will not be made public until the indictment is served, which could take days.

It took the grand jury only two hours to return the indictment in the killing of 26-year-old Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was shot by trooper James Bonard Fowler during a 1965 civil rights protest that turned into a melee.

Fowler, now 73, was the target of the investigation and had said he expected to be indicted. He said that he fired in self-defense after Jackson grabbed his gun from its holster. Calls to his home and his lawyer were not immediately returned.

The indictment is the latest in a series of cases from the civil rights era across the South that are now being prosecuted.

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· SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon joined a growing list of states ready to offer same-sex couples at least some of the benefits of marriage. Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) signed legislation that will create domestic partnerships for gay men and lesbians starting Jan. 1.

· CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.-- A Marine sergeant shot five Iraqi men who were trying to surrender in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005, and then gathered his squad together to come up with a cover story, one of the squad members testified in a military court. Repeating an account he gave to government investigators, Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz said that after his convoy hit a makeshift bomb , killing Lance Cpl. Miguel "T.J." Terrazas, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich killed five Iraqi men nearby. The testimony came in a hearing for Capt. Randy W. Stone, who is charged with failing to investigate the deaths of the Iraqis.

· TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. -- Five-foot waves crashed by the pier and 26-mph gusts whipped clouds of sand into the faces of tourists as Andrea, the first named storm of 2007, formed off the Georgia coast -- three weeks before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The subtropical storm churned about 100 miles southeast of Savannah. Forecasters predicted that it would not pose much of a threat.

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