Family Says Man Who Allegedly Killed Pro-Life Advocate Jim Pouillon Depressed

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 16, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Family Says Man Who Allegedly Killed Pro-Life Advocate Jim Pouillon Depressed

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 16
, 2009

Owosso, MI ( — The family of Harlan Drake, the man who allegedly shot and killed Michigan pro-life advocate Jim Pouillon, says he suffers from depression. The development is very similar to what the family of Scott Roeder said after he allegedly killed late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.

On Friday, Drake killed local businessman Mike Fouss and then drove to where Pouillon was protesting abortion outside the local high school and shot him multiple times.

Officials say Drake killed Pouillon because he didn’t like how Pouillon would show pictures of babies killed in abortion outside to high school students.

But Drake’s family says he may have engaged in the shootings because he suffered from mental health issues.

In a written statement, his family calls him a " a kind man, a gentle giant," who had no history of criminal activity or violence. They said he suffered from a history of depression and was experiencing problems with his medications at the time of the shooting.

District Judge Terrance Dignan in Corunna ruled Tuesday that Drake has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Drake has been assigned two court-appointed attorneys, Robert Ashley and Justin English, who met with him on Tuesday. They told the Detroit News he is doing fine after a suicide attempt over the weekend — which saw Drake smash his jail cell television set and use a shard from it to slice his wrist.

Ashley says he’s now gathering information about the case to be able to represent Drake in court.

After Roeder allegedly killed Tiller, his family said he may have suffered from mental illness.

Lindsey Roeder, who divorced Roeder in 1996 after 10 years of marriage, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Roeder had a mental evaluation in the mid 1990s.

Although he did not believe he had any mental health issues, “everyone else did," she told the newspaper.

“He just felt these were his views,” she said of his position supporting the killing of people who kill others, such as abortion practitioners. "He followed the view of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

"It scared me," she said of his approach, which has been linked to militia and anti-government groups and attitudes.

Meanwhile, Roeder’s family released a statement, according to the newspaper, saying. “We are shocked, horrified and filled with sadness at the death of Dr. Tiller and the circumstances surrounding it that may have involved Scott Roeder."

The statement confirmed the mental health problems, but said Roeder was otherwise a nice guy.

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.