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 thats 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.
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