Man Who Killed Pro-Life Advocate Protesting Abortion Sentenced to Life in Prison

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 22, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Man Who Killed Pro-Life Advocate Protesting Abortion Sentenced to Life in Prison

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 22
, 2010

Owosso, MI ( — The man who shot pro-life advocate James Pouillon because he was upset with the graphic abortion signs he used when protesting abortion outside a local high school has been sentenced to life in prison. Harlan Drake killed Pouillon and a local businessman in a separate killing after a family feud.

A Shiawassee County jury convicted Drake on two counts of first-degree murder in the September 2009 shootings.

Today, 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.

At the same time, Drake appeared frustrated in court, according to an AP report, and told the judge to "get on with this."

Judge Lostracco responded that he was disappointed he couldn’t sentence Drake to hard labor for his crimes.

"I deserve to go to jail forever," Drake told the judge Thursday.

Jurors rejected claims from defense attorneys that Drake was mentally ill at the time of the killings and should be declared not guilty by reason of insanity.

The jury deliberated for four hours before returning their verdicts.

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 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.

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