About 250 Gather to Remember Slain Pro-Lifer
September 16, 2009 - 3:06 PMMore than 250 people, including family members, friends and allies, gathered Wednesday to remember an anti-abortion protester who was killed in a drive-by shooting.
James Pouillon, 63, was gunned down on Friday while standing with a sign depicting a dead fetus at his usual spot across the street from Owosso High School, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit. He was the first of two people shot dead that day by 33-year-old trucker Harlan Drake, prosecutors said.
The service began with a prayer led by Pastor Elmer Cox of Lansing, who asked that Drake "be forgiven for what he has done."
Several people attending the service wore shirts with anti-abortion messages on them. The service was held at the high school stadium instead of a funeral home to accomodate the crowd.
Matthew Trewhella, 49, and his wife Clara drove six hours from Milwaukee with nine of their 11 children to attend the service. He said he last saw Pouillon at an anti-abortion protest in August at the Woodward Dream Cruise, a one-day event near Detroit that celebrates car culture.
"If every town had a Jim Pouillon in it like Owosso did, abortion would be illegal," he said. "Most people play bingo at his age, but here he was using an oxygen tank and speaking for the unborn."
Harlan Drake is charged in the killings. His family says he suffers from depression and was having trouble with his medicine.
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