Man Who Killed Pro-Life Advocate James Pouillon Will Rely on Insanity Defense

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 15, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Man Who Killed Pro-Life Advocate James Pouillon Will Rely on Insanity Defense

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 15
, 2010

Owosso, MI ( — The man who shot and killed pro-life activist James Pouillon as he protested abortion outside a local high school will rely on an insanity defense in the case. Pouillon was a long-time pro-life street activist from Owosso, Michigan, who was gunned down on September 11.

A local man, Harlan Drake, has admitted to targeting Pouillon for death because he did not agree with his views on abortion and use of graphic pictures.

Attorney Robert Ashley, who is representing Drake, says he plans to rely on an independent mental health evaluation that he admitted conflicts with an official mental health evaluation made by the state.

“We believe we have a defense of lack of criminal responsibility,” Ashley told AP. “We’re going to be presenting that defense. … This is a question for the jury.”

Drake is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Pouillon and a local businessman he also shot, with whom he reportedly had an ongoing feud.

Ashley would not provide the details of the independent mental health examination but reminded AP that Drake tried to commit suicide in his cell shortly after his arrest.

Assistant prosecutor Sara Edwards told AP, “We will obviously be opposing this insanity defense. We will rebut it in any way we can."

Drake has already admitted killing Pouillon and businessman Mike Fuoss and a trial has been scheduled for February 23 in Shiawassee County Circuit Court. there, the jury will assess Drake’s mental status at the time of the killings.

If Drake is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be sent to a state mental facility for evaluation and possible treatment, but he could be released back into the community.

Drake has already been treated for mental health issues after he was declared incompetent to stand trial, and his competency was later established by the court.

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wake of a lawsuit filed by Caitlin Bruce who alleges that Hodari forced an abortion on her there even though she had withdrawn her consent after viewing her pre-born baby on ultrasound.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.

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